Lebanon in limbo after daylight saving dispute

Beirut, Mar 26 (EFE).- Lebanon woke up Sunday in two time zones after prime minister Najib Mikati announced winter time would be extended, in a decision that triggered a dispute with several institutions.

Daylight savings time in the country was scheduled to enter into effect on March 26 before Mikati decided to postpone it until April 20 in order to allow Muslims to break their fast an hour earlier during the holy month of Ramadan, according to local media.

Ramadan began on Thursday and is expected to end on April 20 in the Middle Eastern region.

The decision sparked a controversy that saw several Lebanese media outlets such as LBCI and MTV rolling their clocks forward despite the the announcement.

But among the most significant reactions was that of the Lebanese Maronite Church, which said in a statement it would not abide by “the abrupt decision to postpone the daylight savings time for a month issued … without consulting the rest of the Lebanese components and without taking international standards into account.”

Other Christian institutions have also followed in the Maronite church’s footsteps.

The Notre-Dame de Jamhour school advised “all parents, teachers and students to adjust their clocks one hour forward at midnight in accordance with international standard and Lebanese laws in force for decades.”

Meanwhile, other institutions will stay in the winter time such as Lebanon’s state airline, Middle East Airlines, causing confusion due to the departure times of the flights.

This dispute has deepened sectarian divisions in a country that witnessed a deadly civil war (1975–90) between Christians and Muslims.

In multi-faith Lebanon, parliamentary seats are divided by religious sects.EFE


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