By FOX News Radio’s Emily Wither in Jerusalem:
Snow ball fights and snowboards accompanied by squeals of delight are not usual sights in the holy city of Jerusalem for life-long residents and tourists alike.
We woke up this morning tucked underneath a blanket of thick snow. The logistical nightmare that awaited us outside was quickly overridden by the beautiful city twinkling in the morning sunlight.
“The kids liked seeing the palm trees covered in snow,” Jerusalemite Lauren told me. She moved here from Michigan in 1995 and says while they’re used to this in the states, it’s much more fun here because it’s so unusual.
“In Michigan people would laugh at this snow, but it’s better here that people stay off the streets because they don’t know how to drive in the snow and they are an absolute hazard,” she added.
We weren’t going anywhere anyway; Jerusalem was snowed in, the entrance to the city blocked off after the heaviest snow fall in a decade.
Admittedly while it’s fun for some… it’s a headache for the authorities who just aren’t used to this type of extreme winter weather and don’t have the infrastructure to cope with it. While we’re used to sandstorms in the Middle East, we’re not used to snowstorms.
Roads are closed across the country, schools shut and residents have been told to stay at home. But don’t tell that to the kids who are busy building snowy companions on street corners.
“It’s exhilarating to see snow falling in Jerusalem,” an Australian couple told me. They certainly didn’t feel like their holiday was a washout.
The winter weather is a total misery for others. The worst storms in a decade have brought much of the region to a standstill.
It’s been snowing in Jordan and Syria, while freezing temperatures, high winds and flooding have hit Lebanon, Egypt and the West Bank. The storm has killed over 10 people in the Middle East since the weekend.
For Syria’s thousands of refugees that are already living in unbearable conditions in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon it’s especially tough. Many live in tents that don’t have any heating and are being blown away or flooded.
Still for kids here in Jerusalem the snow is being seen as a blessing.
LISTEN to FOX News Radio’s Emily Wither reporting from Jerusalem: