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Rare Snowstorm hits the Middle East

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Egypt

Rare snowstorm hits the Middle East

By IAN DEITCH, Associated Press Writer

2 hours, 54 minutes ago


People play in the snow in Amman January 30, 2008. A rare heavy snow storm hit the Middle Eastern country of Jordan on Wednesday.


JERUSALEM - A rare snowstorm swept the Middle East on Wednesday, blanketing parts of the Holy Land in white, shutting schools and sending excited children into the streets for snowball fights.

The weather in Jerusalem topped local newscasts, eclipsing a government report on Israel's 2006 war in Lebanon.

Men in long Arab robes pelted each other with snowballs in the Jordanian capital, Amman, and the West Bank city of Ramallah, seat of the Palestinian government, came to a standstill.

"I'm originally from Gaza where snow never falls," said Bothaina Smairi, 28, who was out in Ramallah taking photographs. "The white snow is covering the old world and I feel like I am in a new world where everything is white, clean, and beautiful."

Jerusalem's Old City was coated in white. A few ultra-Orthodox Jews, wearing plastic bags over their hats to keep them dry, prayed at the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site.

Snow falls in Jerusalem once or twice each winter, but temperatures rarely drop low enough for it to stick. The Israeli weather service said up to 8 inches of snow fell in the city.

By late morning, the snow changed to rain, turning the city into a slushy mess. But forecasters said temperatures were expected to drop, and the snow would continue through Thursday morning.

Heavy snow also was reported in the Golan Heights and the northern Israeli town of Safed, and throughout the West Bank.

In Ramallah, residents were surprised to see snow when they awoke. For some, it was their first time.

"I am just astonished with the snow. When I saw the snow this morning, I felt happy, my heart was laughing," said Mary Zabaro, 17.

In Amman, where a foot of snow fell, children used inflatable tubes as sleds. Some roads were temporarily closed.

Snow covered most mountain villages and blocked roads in Lebanon. The storm disrupted power supplies in most Lebanese towns and villages, exacerbating existing power cuts. Parts of the Beirut-Damascus highway were closed.

Temperatures in Syria dipped below freezing and snow blanketed the hills overlooking the capital, Damascus.



A boy runs down snow-covered stairs in the Old City of Jerusalem, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008. A heavy overnight snowstorm blanketed Jerusalem and other parts of the Holy Land in white on Wednesday, closing schools and stores and grounding public transportation.

(AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill)

Rare Snowstorm Slideshow



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I talked to my in-laws last night and all the kids and adults had a snow day! No work! :dance: No school! :dance:

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Filed: Country: Palestine

wow I did not realize it was so widespread. My husband told me it was going to snow in Palestine last night and I laughed at him, lol I told him i'd sure like to see snow underneath all that brown:) Well, he assured me it would be nothing like Boston though, well, not in his area it was not. His area only got a light touch...enough to cover the cars basically. I talked to him this morning about it and by the time my sil got online to talk to her family a few hours later, it had all melted away. But he has been complaining about the cold in palestine though. I never thought it could get to below freezing there! And to make it worse, most of the places do not have heat. (only rich ppl do). They have little heaters he said...perhaps like our space heaters here in this country? And their houses are all made of tile floors and cement....I cannot imagine how that could keep you warm:(

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Egypt

thats why its freezing in cairo???!!! its not snowing but i didnt even dare go out for the past week!!!! ppl are worried of having their limbs fall off lol ... my husband keeps telling me no matter what it will never compare to the states lol and i dont disagree .. hes not even used to it coz he is from las vegas originally and attending IU in bloomington where its like 2OF or so....i dont even know how i wd handle that looool ....


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