Snow brings rare joy to Iraqis amid political and social crisis

Baghdad residents woke up to a blanket of snow that covered roads, cars and palm trees

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Iraqis woke up on Tuesday morning to several inches of snow that blanketed roads, cars and palm trees.

The country has been rocked by four months of demonstrations which have massed on the streets of Baghdad and southern cities to demand the removal of the country’s political class.

Snowfall is an extremely rare phenomenon for Iraq, one of the world’s hottest countries.

Residents in the capital declared it an omen of peace amid turbulent times.

Many took to Twitter to share photos of the unusual weather.

“The joy on people’s faces as they woke up to snow today is immeasurable. I hope this rare occasion can bring much needed peace to the agony of Iraqis,” Mohammed Ali said on Twitter.

“God, please keep our protesters safe,” he said.

Baghdad’s Green Zone became united as one big white zone.

No one could remember the last time they saw snowfall in Baghdad.

“Snow is falling for the first time in central regions of Iraq. Praying for those that are displaced and living in tents and shelters,” Ali Noaman, an Iraqi blogger, said on Twitter.

Iraq has about 1.4 million internally displaced people, UN figures show.

Snow also covered the holy city of Karbala further south and Mosul in the north, where heavier precipitation left a blanket of snow over the city’s centuries-old ruins.

The Kurdistan Regional Government and Nineveh governorate announced that schools, offices and government were shut.

Snow is common in the mountainous Kurdish areas of northern Iraq, but it rarely snows in the capital or surrounding areas.

The last time snow fell across the country was in 2008.


Winter weather around the Middle East