Iraq’s capital of Baghdad awoke yesterday to a sight not seen in over a decade—the city covered in calming snow. But after months of protest, the stillness is likely as fleeting as the snowflakes.
It was a rare break for the war-torn city. Children played in parks, lobbing snowballs before the fluffy flakes disappeared and the white blanket dissolved into gray puddles. Many residents took selfies.
Iraq has grappled with months of unrest. It began with an anti-government protest movement in October. Then came the death of a top Iranian general in Baghdad in early January. Since then, the entire region has teetered close to war as tensions between the United States and neighboring Iran keep increasing.
Over 500 people have died in the Middle East protests—mostly as security forces used live ammo rounds and tear gas to disperse crowds in Baghdad and southern Iraq.
In Baghdad’s central Tahrir Square, surprised protesters took a moment to observe the snowfall and dust the flakes off their sit-in tents.
“Thank God it is snowing this morning,” says Aymen Ahmed, a protester, probably referring to Allah. “The atmosphere is beautiful . . . the people are very happy because this is the first time snow falls in Iraq.”
Annual snowfall is common in the mountainous northern region of Iraq but very rare in Baghdad. The last time the capital saw snow was in 2008.
By midday, the snow had melted in most parts of the city. “It was a beautiful moment,” says Mariam, another protester. She gave only her first name, fearing punishment like most anti-government protesters.
“Now life goes back to normal.”
God sent the snow to Baghdad. (Psalm 147:16) How is precipitation (rain, snow, etc.) an example of God’s grace to all humankind?
For He makes His Sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. — Matthew 5:45
(Iraqi children play in the snow in Baghdad, Iraq, on Tuesday, February 11, 2020. AP Photo/Ali Abdul Hassan)