Freak weather brings flooding and hail in Makkah but Saudis remain upbeat

On social media Saudis share photos and video of rain

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Residents of Saudi Arabia rejoiced as rain hit several parts of the kingdom on Tuesday.

Social media exploded with videos of rain falling as young Saudis embraced the opportunity to show the country in a different light.

“I want the world to see how beautiful Saudi Arabia is, even during summer,” said Areej Hasan, from Abha in the south-west of the country.

“The beautiful streets of Abha are adorned with purple flowers from jacaranda trees and it is a rare sight to see them drenched in rain. My family and I decided to wear our masks and go out for a stroll to enjoy the beautiful weather,” he said.

The rare rain drew children into the streets to play as adults welcomed the cooler temperatures. But the downpour was not all joyful.

On Friday, the authorities warned people about heavy rain and thunderstorms in Makkah, Madinah, Al Baha, Jazan and Najran with possible flooding in the Eastern Province, Riyadh and Qassim as well as light rains across Jawf, Tabuk and the northern borders.

Civil Defence warned people to stay away from places that could flood.

Videos shared from Makkah showed cars submerged as water flowed down a flooded street. Those performing tawaf at the city's Grand Mosque were caught in a hail storm.

Ayesha Rashid, on pilgrimage in Makkah, said she felt blessed to be one of the few able to perform Umrah this year, after coronavirus measures restricted pilgrim numbers.

“The feeling is just unbelievable,” she said.

“We were not expecting this. I suddenly felt drops of rain and then people rejoicing around me as it started pouring in the Grand Mosque. It was as if all our prayers were answered.

"Rain in Islam signifies mercy and we are blessed to have the opportunity to be here in the holy month," Ms Rashid said.

The videos on social media brought joy to those who did not experience the rain themselves.

"I received a video from my cousin in Taif before maghrib and it looked so beautiful! People are driving around just enjoying the rain before they break their fast," said Aamna Tahir, from Jeddah.

“It is such a relief from the hot weather we are facing during long fasting hours,”