Dec 13, 2013 05:15 PM EST
Cairo And Other Parts Of Egypt See Snow For The FIrst TIme In 112 Years
Residents of Cairo were not expecting a white Christmas this year as many of them have never seen or experienced one in Egypt's capital in their lifetime, but it looks like they're going to get one.
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For the first time in 122 years, the Middle East was hit by a winter storm on Friday, blanketing Cairo, Jerusalem and areas of Syria in white powder, Agence France-Presse reported.
"The whole garden was white," Karim Kheirat told AFP by telephone from the new town of Medinati northeast of the capital. "It's the first time in my life that I have seen it like this."
Over the Past two days temperatures in Egypt have plummeted and torrential rain "lashed" part of the country. The snowstorm only intensified the "regional cold snap" that spread to Egypt.
According to residents, other suburbs of the capital also saw light snow showers.
"It is the first time in very many years" that it has snowed in the suburbs of Cairo, Ali Abdelazim, an official at the meteorological center, told AFP.
The Sinai Peninsula in Egypt has accumulates a blanket of snow several centimeters thick in the mountainous area around Saint Catherine's monastery for the first time in decades.
Mokhtar Hussein, who lives in the area, told AFP that because of the weather, he had not left his house since Thursday.
"We aren't leaving the house at all because the whole town is covered in snow," he said.
On the Mediterranean coast, gardens, streets and houses in the town of Ras al-Bar were covered with snow, resident Rania al-Mubashir told AFP.
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The northern coastal city of Alexandria only received , but authorities shut the port for the third consecutive day because of the bad weather and strong winds.