Controversy and confusion in Lebanon after government postpones Daylight-Saving Time

Ahram Online , Saturday 25 Mar 2023

The last-minute decision by the Lebanese government on Friday to postpone work with Daylight-Saving Time (DST), which was scheduled to go into effect at midnight on 26 March, until after the holy month of Ramadan has sparked widespread controversy and confusion in the country.

A general view of the centre of Lebanon s capital Beirut. AFP


Several prominent religious institutions, including the Maronite Patriarchate, announced their non-compliance with the decision.

The decision has also caused confusion among several major economic institutions such as Middle East Airlines, the country’s national carrier, as well as the telecommunications giants Alfa and MTC.

Moreover, television stations such as MTV and the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International (LBC) have also announced their non-compliance with the government’s decision, citing potential negative impact on their business operations.

Many social media users have criticised the government’s decision-making process as sectarian.

Others, however, have supported the government decision, mocking opponents’ positions as “over-reaction”.

Memes and Lebanese-style jokes on the confusion that could result because of the last-minute decision also spread like wildfire on all platforms.

“Tomorrow, you leave Junia at 6pm and arrive in Beirut at 5pm :),” joked one social media user in humour the Lebanese are famed for.

The decision to postpone implementation of the DST does not affect hours of fasting for those who observe the Muslim tradition.

The controversy comes amid sharp deterioration in the economic conditions in the country, which pushed 80 percent of the population below the official poverty line.

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