Extreme heat hit the Middle East today, first day of the holy month of Ramadan. With an incredible 126.3 degrees Fahrenheit (52.4 degrees Celsius), Omidiyeh in Khuzestan in Iran was the hottest spot on Earth. With 123.3 F (50.7 C), Abdaly in northern Kuwait, some 150 km to the southwest, was not really cooler today.
I had expressed my serious concerns three years ago about unbearable weather conditions in particular in countries of the Middle East during midsummer Ramadan, when eating and drinking is prohibited from dawn to dusk for the devout Muslim, see here. The old times when any activities at daytime would completely cease during Ramadan are over. These days, the foreign workforce in Arabian countries (Iran is different), in particular construction workers from Bangladesh, Pakistan and India, are supposed to continue toiling outdoors. In many of these countries a law might prevent them from working if temperatures would reach 122 F (50 C), but 118 F (49 C) does not really makes a difference.
Anyway, to all my friends and colleagues over there, have a blessed and most spiritual time. Ramadan Kareem!
July 20, 2012 @ 19:32
Last modified July 20, 2012.