Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Arab World Countries Taken over by Searing Heatwave | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A man pours water over himself while washing a horse in order to cool it down as part of measures taken to ease the effect of a heatwave at the Beirut Hippodrome, Lebanon August 4, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamed Azaki

“Punishing dog days,” “blazing heat,” and “skin darkener” are terms gaining popularity in the Arab world as temperatures soar to unprecedented degrees, ushering in the worst summer heatwave yet.

Mid-July till the end of August have long been the hottest days during the year for the Arab world.

Saudi Arabia’s meteorology and environmental protection body confirmed exceptional climate changing—with heat peaking beyond its average. Declared an ‘extreme’ condition this summer solstice, as readings show temperatures rising above 50 °C in the shade.

Suffering the most, Gaza Strip inhabitants face sweltering heat without the chance of escaping to cool beaches with Israeli authorities imposing harsh restrictions.

Added to that is the insufferable power cut the Hamas-ruled area lives under, where power supplies dropped to as low as four hours a day.

In Iraq, temperatures recently touched on 50 °C, leaving hundreds of thousands of displaced people living in tragic situations to the ruthless climate phenomenon.

Even Iraqis who managed to return to their destroyed homes find it more difficult to manage the current heat.

For the Lebanese, those who live in mountains bolted to the country’s coastal areas. While in Egypt, the Cairo metro line was crippled by blistering temperatures as masses fled to beaches, villages and hotels in the northern coast.

Joining Arab countries, Morocco is experiencing a heatwave like no other, especially with the country only ever knowing tolerable summers.

Some housing units do not have air conditioning or cooling systems installed, as Moroccans rushed to beach resorts, cold drinks and ice cream.

Many people preferred to spend long nights outside their homes.

As for an economic result, scorching heatwaves have contributed to a major demand for sun protection products, particularly women who each day fear more for skincare quality and health they are receiving.

Dermatologists are extensively being hosted on radio shows and television channels in light of heatwaves taking over.