Heavy winter snow storm adds to miseries of Syrian refugees in the Middle East

February 21, 2015 4:46 pm

A heavy winter storm descended on parts of the yesterday,
with snow forcing the closure of roads leading in and out of
and sprinkling Israel’s desert with a rare layer of white.
Snow also fell in parts of the , Lebanon, Jordan and as a cold front swept through the region.
snowstorm added to the burden for Syrians displaced by war and living
in tents in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp. Some tents collapsed or
suffered damage, and streets were turned into large puddles of muddy
water. Children walked through the puddles and helped clear snow from
the roofs of tents. Syrian refugee Umm Raed said conditions in the camp
were difficult even before the winter storm hit.

People in Jerusalem throw snowballs near the Dome of the Rock. Photo / AP
“This is the
third snowstorm, many people live in tents, their situation is very
bad,” she said. “Look at the situation of the children.”
contrast, ancient sites were picture-postcard pretty. Snow capped the
golden Dome of the Rock, a Muslim site in Jerusalem, dusted the Western
Wall, a Jewish holy site, and blanketed the Nativity Church in the West
Bank town of .

The Israeli desert towns of Dimona, Yerucham and Arad woke up
to a layer of white. The Syrian capital of Damascus and surrounding
mountains were covered with snow, and in neighbouring Lebanon, the
snowstorm closed most mountain roads, isolating villages.
In the
Jordanian capital of , snow paralysed streets, and in Gaza, heavy
rains were to continue through to today. In Egypt, strong winds and
heavy rain shut down the Mediterranean ports of ,
where strong winds uprooted trees.

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