West News Wire: With a falling currency and a large portion of the people living in poverty due to a continuing economic crisis, life is difficult in Lebanon right now.
But few people in the nation anticipated that a contentious last-minute decision by the government regarding daylight saving time would further destabilize their lives. (DST).
The Lebanese government abruptly stated on Thursday that DST, which was scheduled to go into effect on Sunday, will now be delayed until 20 April.
No official justification was provided, but a leaked video of a meeting between Parliament Speaker and Amal Movement leader Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Najib Mikati showed that Berri asked for the deferral of daylight saving time so that Muslims might observe their holy days.
The decision to postpone daylight saving time in Lebanon has caused confusion among the population, as some institutions have implemented the change while others have not, including a number of Christian churches.
One consultant of a Lebanese company, who wanted to remain anonymous, told Middle East Eye that her company had business trips scheduled for later in the month, and said the government’s decision had thrown their plans into uncertainty.
“The office manager is unsure about when to book taxis. Also, we work with international offices located in Dubai and India. This is the best time of year to get closer to their time zones, but it means we have to rethink previously scheduled meetings,” she said.
“I also have a team in Beirut, and the country is divided. I cannot have some team members following government decisions while others are not. However, making a decision on their behalf may create sensitivity because the issue has suddenly become political and religious. So, I have no idea what to do.”
Rita, a 30-year-old accountant based in Beirut, was more blunt.
“The decision of our government is shit,” she said.
She sarcastically suggested that the government’s method of handling things was quite typical. Nevertheless, she said that she wouldn’t comply with the decision as her work followed inWhile public institutions are expected to adhere to the government’s decision, several private entities such as TV stations, schools and businesses have announced that they would not follow suit and would instead adopt daylight saving time on the previously scheduled date of Sunday.
The decision made by the Lebanese government to postpone DST could have significant consequences for people in various aspects of their daily lives, even impacting the settings of electronic devices, such as phones and computers, as people may need to disable the automatic date and time settings and manually set the correct time.