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Syria: Let It Snow!

It's been a whirlwind week of weird weather for much of the Levant, as relieving rains and surprise snows blanket the landscape.  In the Syrian capital, the streets are covered with snow for the first time in years.  Though the Damascus skies occasionally sprinkle snow, rarely does it stick to the ground.  One blogger, 50% Syrian, is thrilled by the development:

For most young Damascenes (20s, early 30s), this is the very first time in their life that they see it snow in Damascus. A report I just read says it’s been 25 years since it last snowed in this beautiful city of spirit and soul. But according to my father-in-law he saw it snow around 50 years ago… and doesn’t remember seeing snow on the streets of the Syrian capital, ever since.

Before settling in this city I most cherish and adore, I have been in and out of Damascus during many seasons, but this is the first time in my 30-something life that I see snow fluff down from the sky, so serenely and beautifully, filling me with hope and love, more than anything else.

Photo by Mustafa Hamido, Aleppous Project

Why so Syria? describes herself as a Mexican-American in Damascus by way of Boston.  For that reason, she was especially surprised to wake up to snow flurries.  The blogger writes:

Ok so Christmas is still a few days away but this morning we woke up to significant flurries in Damascus. What an unexpected and pleasant surprise! As I groggily opened my eyes and looked out the window, for a split second I thought I was still in Boston…

…This city is always full of surprises. Just when you think you’ve got the place figured out, BAM — SNOW! It kind of blows my mind.

Photo by blogger Why So Syria?

Syrian blogger Ayman Ashour unfortunately missed the snowfall. He quips:

نحن المحرومون من روعة البرد هدية الثلج الجميلة نناشدكم إرسال بعض الصورعلنا نخفف من شدة احتجاج الأبناء علينا ومطالبتهم لنا بأن يلعبوا بالثلج مثلما لعبنا به
Those of us who are deprived of the wonders of the cold and the beautiful gift of snow are asking you to send us some photos so we could ease our children's protests and demands of playing with snow as we once did.

A Syrian satellite television channel shared a beautiful video on YouTube, illustrating the beauty of the Damascene snowfall:

First photo credit: Mostafa Hamido, Aleppous Project

6 comments

  • Thanks for snow news of Northern neighbors, Jillian. I had no idea Damascus had been so long without snow.

  • “For most young Damascenes (20s, early 30s), this is the very first time in their life that they see it snow in Damascus”

    this statement is wrong . i am a 31 damascene girl, and i recall 4 or 5 winters in my life where we didn’t have snow or even rain.but the rest were fine winters, with rain , wind and snow at its peak.
    check the following link . these are photos of snow on 2008

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/blueninosy/page5/

    peace!

  • Yes, it was a beautiful sight indeed. But today the sun was out again in Damascus and the birds were singing again. The snow is gone… The rivers streaming down the Qasioun mountain have dried up. And I am pretty relieved, living in an “Arabic house” with an open courtyard where it snows on you everytime you go to the kitchen… And the electricity is stable again!

    I do remember snow in Feb. 2004 though, when I last lived here. Not as much as this time, but minarets and palm trees were covered in a beautiful white layer.

  • Yes, it was a beautiful sight indeed. And the young (and not so young) boys were having fun – I was hit by 4 snowballs within 20 minutes :-).

    But today, the sun was out again in Damascus and the birds were singing. The snow has gone… The rivers streaming down the Qasioun mountain have dried up… And I am pretty relieved, living in an “Arabic house” with an open courtyard where it snows on you everytime you go to the kitchen. And the electricity is stable again.

    But I do remember snow in Feb. 2004, last time I lived here. Not as much as this time, but the minarets and palm trees were covered in a beautiful white layer.

  • CircassianSyrian

    I don’t know where some of these reports are coming from stating things such as “25 years since it last snowed”… that’s not at all true !
    These people have obviously never visited the city during Winter…

    It snows almost every year in Damascus, often on the surrounding mountains. Some years it’s more plentiful and “sticks to the ground” in the city itself.

    Regarding the surprise of the Mexican-American that it snows in Damascus – what’s so surprising ? Don’t confuse Syria with Saudi Arabia…
    Just like most countries on the Mediterranean Sea, Syria has 4 seasons.
    The severity of the winter cold and summer heat depend on the region and elevation.

    Good day to all.

  • […] first ever snow in decades. for young Syrians (20′s and early 30′s) this snow is the first ever for them, and the cheers can be seen throughout the […]

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