Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Snow, rain, hail and cold weather have blanketed Israel, Jordan and parts of Syria in several consecutive days for the first time in 100 years. Not since the era of Lawrence of Arabia has the region, such terrible and inclement weather this late in spring.
T.E Lawrence remarks about the terrible weather in 1917 in his book Seven Pillars of Wisdom. He recalled raiding Ottoman supply caravans near Maan and Arab allies being “hampered by the intense cold, the rain and snow.”
Lawrence had been sent by the British to help support Arab forces that had revolted against the Ottoman Empire in the context of the First World War.
Some men died of exposure he writes. “But the Turks lost equally in men and much more in transport, since their mangy camels died off rapidly in the storms and mud.”
North of Petra near a river Lawrence called “Shobek” from the Biblical era, he says he even fell on frozen mud. He also describes a “furious blizzard” in March of 1918 during the lead-up to the British expeditionary force’s attack on Amman that year.
This year’s snow has not been as bad as in 1917-1918 but the rain and other cold weather have stretched deeply into spring.
It is a reminder that no matter a century passed and changes on the ground made, the region remains united by weather patterns.
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