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Lebanese Society Divided Over Government’s Decision to Postpone Daylight Saving Time

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The decision, which was deemed “appropriate” for Muslims, was negatively received by Christian movements and parties.

The Lebanese government’s decision to delay summer time has led to social divisions in the country.

By the Prime Minister’s decree Najiba Mikati, the hands will advance one hour on April 20, not the last weekend of March as was done before. But many other religious and national communities have expressed their dissatisfaction with the Cabinet.

The particularly influential Maronite Church refused to obey the order and switched to a new hour the day before. His leadership noted that the “surprising decision” of the authorities was taken without taking into account international standards and any consultation with the Lebanese community. Other Christian organizations and parties also expressed their solidarity with the Maronites.

The growing protests were also supported by local media companies, including LBCI and MTV TV channels. They also switched to summer time the night before, and LBCI made it clear that they would not abide by Mikati’s decision as it would hurt their business. If clocks were automatically set one hour ahead, customers were also advised to manually set the required time on various devices.

Lebanese Society Divided Over Government's Decision to Postpone Daylight Saving Time

Many organizations had to go between two fires and adapt to the current situation. For example, the national carrier, Middle East Airlines, has set its clock to winter time, but has adjusted other settings to match international tariffs.

Mikati’s step was seen as an attempt to appease the Muslims: Ramadan fasters will now be able to eat at 6 pm, not 7 pm. The Islamic institutions of the state apparently approved the decision of the prime minister and continued to “live” according to the winter time. However, previous local media reported that Mikati met with the Shiite spokesperson in the parliament shortly before his statement. Nabihom Strawberryinsisting on postponing the clock change.

Initially, the prime minister stated that such a decision would cause organizational problems in the country, but later changed his mind. In the wake of the scandal, he described his move as a “purely administrative procedure” and was given an “unpleasant sectarian connotation”. In response, Mikati’s office declined to comment on the decision and its implications for Lebanese society.

In social networks, the situation with the transition to summer time received many cynical comments against the backdrop of the acute economic crisis in the country. As one user noted, although the most popular exchange rate and time are not recognized by the authorities, it is difficult to explain to people that there are two time standards and seven exchange rates for the country’s national currency.

Source: Riafan

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