A severe Middle East winter snowstorm has left a blanket of snow on Cairo, Egypt for the first time in over 100 years. The freak storm also caused Middle East Mayhem in Jordan and Jerusalem, where snowfall levels were recorded reach as much as half a meter in many places.
In Jerusalem, where accumulated snow paralyzed the city, as many as 30,000 homes have been without power for days and hundreds of cars were stranded on the roads – many of them belonging to visitors who had brought their families to the city to see the snowfall.
In Cairo and other parts of Egypt, long-time residents told Al Arabiya News that the freak snowstorm was something that had not occurred there for at least 100 years. One Cairo resident wrote a Twitter post saying: “camel in the snow in Egypt. It’s like a polar bear in the desert.”
The storm, as shocking as it was, was welcomed by many who had never seen snow in their entire lives. “It’s the first time I see snow,” said Samar Salah, a 21-year-old Cairo resident, who also told Al Arabiya News that despite feeling cold many residents were very excited about the snow.
The snow did cause some problems in Egypt’s capital, as it hampered public transport services and caused many stores to close. The freak storm also resulted in many amusing posts on social media sites, like the one about the camel.
Another one, also posed on Twitter, said that “Egypt now has the climate of Europe and the economy of Somalia.”
The Land of the Nile was not the only place to see snowfalls as snow also fell in unlikely places like Saudi Arabia, where even rainfall is a rarity.
In other parts of the Middle East, the severe winter weather has caused problems to parts of Jordan, Syria and Lebanon where thousands of refugees from the ongoing Syrian civil conflict are living in refugee camps and makeshift shelters.
In Lebanon’s Zaatari refugee camp, on Lebanon’s border with Syria and where more than 60,000 Syrian refugees live, it was reported that “refugees started to push each other as they ran towards aid workers. They hurled stones at each other and there was a stampede, which hurt some aid workers.”
Whether this severe winter weather has any connection to Middle East climate change is still not certain. After all, this is the region where scientists have been saying that some of the most extreme summer heat waves have been occurring with record high temperatures . Some of those high temperatures might be welcomed now.
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