It is subject to constant dust-laden winds variously known as sirocco, khamsin , simoom and harmattan.
Fierce winds - the khamsin and the ghibli - threw dust into men's faces, obscuring the battlefield.
We were greeted by a hot blast of air - not the Egyptian khamsin , the spring desert wind, but warmth generated by a stove that had been cranked all day in a 150-square-foot space.
There is also a great description of a khamsin , the sandstorm wind, and I can vouch for Sussman's accuracy, having been terrified silly by enduring such a phenomenon myself, even though I was in the comparative safety of Cairo.
It's the hamsin - which means ‘fifty’ in Arabic - the sand-laden sirocco that blows in from the Egyptian desert and can, legend says, last for 50 days.
This year, there were some days of hamsin before Yom Kippur, but the holiday itself was quite moderate: hot but not really unpleasant.
The Santa Ana is a foehn wind, Didion explains, that blows over the angels like the hamsin in Israel - a hot wind that rolls dryly from the mountains and brings nausea, illness and ill-temper in its wake.
But, however unattractive, the camel is functional, with its webbed hooves, reluctant thirst and double eyelids for protection from the hamsins , the infamous desert sand storms.
The strong hot desert winds, the khamsins , with their associated sandstorms, added to the discomfort.
I have heard many complaints and many solutions to problems with exhaust fumes in khamsins .