INTRODUCTION A snowman is a rare sight in the suburbs of Beirut, the capital of Mediterranean Lebanon.
INTRODUCTION A snowman is a rare sight in the suburbs of Beirut, the capital of Mediterranean Lebanon. But after the heaviest snowfalls in the country for 75 years there were plenty of them to be seen as a thick blanket of snow covered most of the nation almost down to sea-level this week.
SYNOPSIS: Winters in Beirut are normally frostless, and snowfalls rare. So a fall of this scale took the Lebanese that live near the coast by complete surprise.
But not for long. The people of a country that for 18 months had been ravaged by civil war, were quick to take advantage of the abundant snow.
Of course, it wasn't long before a few snowmen started making appearances.
Despite having a Mediterranean climate, snow is commonplace in some parts of Lebanon. On the hills only five to 10 miles behind the coast there is usually heavy winter snow, and the mountains with their ski resorts are covered from December to May. It is from the snow-clad peaks that Lebanon is thought to have derived its name -- from the Aramaic for white, "laban".