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Snow Storm Closes Schools in Lebanon

The weather forecasts expected a snow storm in the evening of Tuesday 8 January 2013. We thought we will be able to have at least two teaching days in Schneller School before we have to close because of the snow on Wednesday. After all this was right after the long Christmas holiday.
Students returned on Monday and we were having a normal teaching day, but the news from Beirut was bad. The storm was wrecking havoc in the city and in most of the regions in Lebanon. Homes were flooded and the streets became like rivers. Rain water flooded tunnels and roads and many cars were swept away.
The scenes were unbelievable, and finally at 2.00 PM the Minister of Education announcedSnow Storm 2013 that all schools in Lebanon will close down until the end of the storm.
Mini-bus drivers were reporting flooding in the Ammeek region and on the road to Jib Jinneen.
A quick circular letter was prepared and handed over to all day-students informing parents that Schneller School will close in accordance with the minister's decision.
The team of the boarding department had to start calling parents of children informing them of school closure. They were assured that their children will be well looked after if they stayed at school.
In less than an hour there were very few students left. Around ten boarding children stayed for the night, but by 10.00 AM on Tuesday the last child had left school.
The storm was very bad for most of the regions of Lebanon. Sadly there were initial reports of at least three fatalities due to flooding or extreme cold, and the numbers gradually started rising. A mini-bus driver was stuck on the Dahr Al-Beidar road, and he froze to death in his bus. It was also reported that another person living in a tent on the road to Zahleh had the same sad fate.
The Schneller School region was not badly hit. Thank God the storm was mild. We had much worse storms the last two years, but this time there was no damage to our campus. In spite of the very strong winds we did not loose any of our trees.
The only sad thing was the absence of most of the birds we used to see during snow storms. It is tragic that when the law prohibiting hunting in Lebanon was revoked last year, hunting destroyed most of the birds that were slowly returning to our region.
Maybe this storm will have a positive impact on Lebanon; if people realize that chaos and lawlessness eventually lead to big disasters with very heavy losses.

Schneller School Name in Arabic
Johann Ludwig Schneller Schule

Education for Peace since 1860