6 February 2012

Tunisia: Tataouine, the Setting of Star Wars, Covered in Snow

Photo: Tourisme à Tataouine
Snow in Tataouine, Tunisia.

Residents of the southern Tunisian towns of Tataouine and Matmata, small desert cities that furnished the setting for Star Wars movies, woke up to an unusual sight today: snow.

The snow started to fall overnight from Sunday to Monday, leaving a thin layer that was enough to transform the landscape from an arid desert to a glistening-white tundra.

The Sahara desert, particularly the region of Remada and the neighboring area of El Borma in the governorate of Tataouine, also saw snow falling near the oil fields of El Borma. Oil fields workers were thrilled at the sight of snow, a rare sight for them in the region.

The town of Matmata, home to traditional underground "troglodyte" structures inhabited by the indigenous North Africans, the Amazighs, has not witnessed snow fall since 1962, according to Radio Tataouine.

Tunisia has witnessed a cold snap since last week, in the north west of the country. Heavy snow in the northern towns of Thala and Kef left transport paralyzed due to blocked roads. In the town of Aïn Draham, in the governorate of Jendouba, snow reached 80 cm.

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