Snow blanketed the streets of Damascus for the first time this winter in Syria, bringing some relief from a drought which has gripped the country for the past four years.
(People use umbrellas during snow falls in Damascus city.)
Schools sent students home early and children ventured outside to play in the streets.
(Snow falls on Damascus city.)
Heavy rain and strong winds battered cities along the Mediterranean coast. Syrian authorities closed their main port of Tartous, while 4-meter (12-foot) waves forced Egypt to shut down the port of Alexandria — the country's largest — as well as another in Nuweiba.
(The snow-covered Mount Qassioun is seen overlooking Damascus city.)
The UN estimates drought has affected around 1.3 million Syrians, 800,000 of them severely, in four consecutive droughts since 2006.
(Traffic move on a street during snow falls in Damascus city.)