Delay of daylight saving time stirs sectarian controversy


A decision by caretaker PM Najib Mikati to postpone the start of Lebanon’s daylight saving time has stirred controversy with sectarian undertones in the country, especially after a leaked video of a conversation between Mikati and Speaker Nabih Berri.

In a statement issued Thursday, the Premiership announced that daylight saving time will be “exceptionally” postponed by a month this year to start at the midnight of April 20-21 instead of March 25-26.

The decision created confusion and pushed Lebanon’s national carrier -- Middle East Airlines -- to bring forward the times of its flights by one hour in the period between March 25-26 and April 20-21.

The postponement decision coincides with the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

In a leaked video, Berri is seen telling Mikati that “Egypt and everyone are keeping the clock unchanged.”

“Instead of (fast-breaking time) being at 7:00 (pm), let’s keep it at 6:00 (pm) from now until the end of Ramadan,” Berri added.

Mikati answers by saying that he had personally wanted to do so but that such a decision would affect airlines and create problems. The postponement statement was however issued later in spite of the premier's remarks.

Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil later criticized the move in a tweet.

“The issue of daylight saving time is unacceptable and it reflects a lot of implications … It is unacceptable to remain silent over it and one should think of filing an appeal against it or defying it,” Bassil added.

MP George Atallah of the FPM also commented on the issue.

“An establishment that does not value time: it has lost the timing of approving reforms, it has lost the timing of implementing an economic plan, it has wasted partnership, the National Pact and the constitution, and it will waste our unity, because it is sectarian and ignorant,” Atallah tweeted.

Comments 14
Thumb Mrowwe 1 year

Its not any more secterian than having christmas trees and decorations set up in places where many (if not the majority) are non-christian. A multi-faith country must be able to deal with such issues without freaking out.

Thumb 1 year

In regards to your statement, I find myself questioning the purpose of it. Are you suggesting that having a clock to indicate the beginning and end of the ftour and souhour is necessary? It seems to me that regardless of whether it begins at 6PM or 7PM, the timing holds no significance to those who observe it, Furthermore, I find your remark about Christmas trees to be rather unfounded. As a Muslim, I personally partake in the tradition of having a Christmas tree in my home every year, and I must stress the importance of distinguishing between religious practices and cultural customs.

Thumb Mrowwe 1 year The whole point of delaying it is to make the fasting hours more convenient? aaaw how cute of you to show the fans of geagea and gemayel who slaughtered your people and raped your women that you are so similar to them. You putting a christmas tree in your home is not representitive of islam in anyway. Thats just you imitating christian customs because you have an inferiority complex. Imitating the customs of other peoples religious festivals has never been part of islam just like its not part of their religion to imitate the symbols of the holidays of islam.

Thumb 1 year

Dear Mrowwe, I would like to address some concerning behavior that I have observed in you. It seems that you harbor a great deal of animosity and aggression, and I can't help but wonder what might have led you down this path. Despite your troubling attitude, I still feel a sense of pity towards you.

For the record, I want to make it clear that I don't support any particular politician or political party in Lebanon. I don't seek to please anyone, as they have all let us down repeatedly.

Thumb 1 year

On a completely different note, I find it interesting that you refuse to participate in the Christmas tradition because it originated in Germany's Black Forest. This seems like an irrational decision to me. Do you also avoid eating Forêt Noire cake for the same reason? I must say, it strikes me as a bit odd.

As a matter of fact, many people of various faiths celebrate Christmas in some form or another. I.e , a significant number of my Sunni family members commemorate the holiday. Likewise, Christians often visit our neighborhoods during Ramadan for the festive atmosphere and shopping opportunities.

Thumb Mrowwe 1 year

Okwegetit either those shia posters as well as the christmas trees are removed or everything remains and people tolerate eachother. Thats my point. i didn't say the christmas trees should be banned. Thats your biased secterian mind making conclusions. And yes the christmas tree is indeed a religious symbol. Not of Jesus but by christianity that imitates the roman pagans. Christmas is not part of any religion other than christianity

Thumb Mrowwe 1 year

Its not any more secterian than having christmas trees and decorations set up in places where many (if not the majority) are non-christian. A multi-faith country must be able to deal with such issues without freaking out.

Thumb sanglierdomestique 1 year

After ravaging the currency and destroying the country now Berri is messing in the space-time continuum itself, he thinks he’s Thanos or something lol. Self-inflected Y2K, good luck to all the IT admins having to deal with that

Missing rabiosa 1 year

What a stupid decision by two stupid corrupt mafia bosses masquerading as government officials.

Although worldwide there is apish to end this clock forward and backward every year as it's outdated, instead of tampering with it Lebanon should make it official that they non longer move clocks and hence will avoid this idiotic decision this year.

Thumb LongLiveLebanon 1 year

Mikati and Berri's decision is absurd. It will only mess up electronic devices and international air traffic. Those who break the fast around 6:30 p.m., will do it at 7:30 p.m.. What difference does it make ?

Thumb 1 year

As a Lebanese citizen who identifies as Sunni, I am unable to condone the reckless behavior and actions that have led to detrimental consequences not only for the people of Lebanon but also for those who engage in business dealings with the country. The collapse of our economy has been profound, and despite efforts to remedy the situation, it appears that recovery remains elusive. I strongly believe that the aim of those perpetrating these actions is to subjugate the entirety of our population. Therefore, I vehemently reject any unilateral decisions regarding changes to our country's time without the proper processes in place, including a parliamentary meeting and vote. The time for action is now, and it is imperative that we put an end to this destructive behavior.

Thumb Geralt 1 year

Con 1
Daylight Saving Time (DST) is bad for your health.
Changing sleep patterns, even by one hour, goes against a person’s natural circadian rhythms and has negative consequences for health. One study found that the risk of a heart attack increases by 10% the Monday and Tuesday following the springtime change. [1] [2]

Thumb Geralt 1 year

Con 2
DST drops productivity.
The Monday after the springtime change is called “Sleepy Monday,” because it is one of the most sleep-deprived days of the year. The week after the spring DST time change sees an increase in “cyber-loafing” (employees wasting time on the internet) because they’re tired.

Thumb Geralt 1 year

Con 3
DST is expensive.
The Air Transport Association estimated that DST cost the airline industry $147 million dollars in 2007 thanks to confused time schedules with countries that do not participate in the time change.
According to the Lost-Hour Economic Index, moving the clocks forward has a total cost to the US economy of $434 million nationally, factoring in health issues, decreased productivity, and workplace injuries.