We first noticed the haboob descending on downtown during dinner at our transitional houses. A couple of us went over to start taking pictures. As you can see below, it looked like something out of a disaster movie, especially when it engulfed downtown. I got a few pictures in before I joined the scramble to bring the food and tables inside.
Even native Phoenicians said this was one of the biggest, most intense haboobs they had ever seen. You could not really feel the dust hitting you, but I did feel it in my eyes and it got in my mouth. Once the cloud engulfed us, it was as if it was the middle of the night instead of evening.
The haboob never really moved past us. It seemed like it just dissipated after a while, but not before it had left everything with a nice coating of dust. Usually a rain storm follows a haboob, but we only got a few drops, which is actually more rain than I have seen than in the past six weeks, but nothing close to the monsoon most people were expecting.
Being a first-timer and not owning any property, the haboob was a fun weather novelty. However, Andrew put it in perspective for me. He commented about how much this storm probably affected most of our guests. Many probably could not get shelter from the dust, meaning all their belongings got coated with the dust as seen above. Only a few of them could shower it out of their hair or wash it out of their clothes today at our facility. Natural disasters are no fun for anyone, whether a flooded basement or downed trees, but they always hit the poor worst.