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MENA: Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr…It's Freezing

Brrrr… It's freezing in the Middle East is the message that has been popping up on blogs recently. Here's a round up of what some of the region's bloggers had to say about the cold spell, in the otherwise warm and sometimes explosive hotspot of the world.

Qatar:

Our first stop is in Qatar, where Marjorie in Qatar describes how cold it could be in a country where using heaters is not the norm. She writes:

(S)even degrees is pretty dang cold in a country with no heaters. Right now I'm huddled under a blanket with my cat. At least I'm not in Riyadh, which is getting below freezing at night, or in mountainous parts of the UAE, where it's *snowing*.

Dan is also experiencing rain for the first time after nine ‘dry’ months.

“Doha, this crazy, desert town was besieged by rain. It is oddly refreshing and comforting to feel raindrops on your face after 9 dry months in Qatar. The last rain that I remember here was way back in April.. Its a good thing that it was so long ago too – I had forgotten the mania of Doha in the wet. Yesterday alone I saw 5 car accidents (normally its 1)..
Doha is not built for rain. Streets get flooded, drivers get enraged (or petrified depending on their disposition), buildings leak water (and wind) and even the mice try to venture in for shelter..” he explains.

Click here to see some of Dan's pictures.

Writing in Qatar Living, Ajnas points out how catastrophic those rain drops could be and the toll they have on drivers and road users. He reports:

A total of 153 traffic accidents have been reported in and around Doha during the first day of rains, local Arabic daily Arrayah reported.
There were 35 accidents in Khalifa Town. An Asian young man suffered injuries when he was knocked down by a car while crossing Al Sadd Street.
Al Rayan saw 30 accidents, including 10 severe ones. Al Mamoura had 88 accidents, without injuries.

And Mohamed chimes in and writes:

The worst thing about rain in the desert….
…is that the streets turn to mud….

Kuwait:

From the muddy streets of Doha, we move to Kuwait, where bloggers are also complaining about the cold.

In addition to making him lazy, ZDistrict says the cold is harsh on his car's gears. He explains:

What the hell is this cold! Where the hell did it come from, I like the cold more then I do the heat but not when I have work, going to work early the morning in this cold makes it difficult to get up, getting the car moving is another issue. 4C is damn cold early in the morning and I want to warm the car right up by putting it in gear and launching so that I warm up the car forcefully but sometimes its so cold the car has a hard time getting in gear since it hasn’t really warmed up.

Still in Kuwait, Fonzy shares with us pictures he received on email of frozen puddles on the sea front in Wafra.

“The sea water froze!! I won’t be surpirised if it were actually true,” he exclaims.

Libya:

Bad weather dampened Khadija Teri's mood over the weekend. She writes:

My weekend plans collapsed under the buckets of rain that fell from the skies. Thursday we hung around the house mostly but decided to go out to Cinnabon in the evening to get a change in scenery.

Friday's plan was to go to the mountains – more rain.

Iraq:

For the first time in living memory, it snowed in Baghdad. Marshmallow26 writes more about the flakes which warmed up the hearts of Baghdad's residents. She explains:

So Snow finally has arrived in Iraq, and its not only in the North but it kicked in Baghdad's atmosphere… What a lovely thing to know that the snow, which is one of the miracles of God to the nature had drawn a smile on many Iraqis faces that day when the weather center subjected snow in Baghdad and some other cities!! Is it weird to know that London is still waiting for the snow while Baghdad; the Bride of the middle east had it? HUH!!

Ever the adventurer, Marshmallow26 succeeds in convincing her father to take a two hour drive to Sullymania and shares with us more snow pictures here.

SnowVarks:

And last but not least, Middle East commentator Marc Lynch or Abu Aardvark, shares with us this picture of a snowvark – a fitting conclusion to this post!

Marc Lynch

Related GV posts:
Iraq: Snow in Baghdad
Videos of Snow in Baghdad

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