Yesterday, Lebanon woke up to two different times, amid an escalating dispute between the political and religious authorities over the decision to extend winter time for a month.
And caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati issued a decision, last Thursday, to advance the time by an hour, starting from April 20, instead of starting work in daylight savings time on the last weekend of March, as was the custom in Lebanon, Europe and other regions.
Mikati announced the decision after a meeting with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, who repeatedly insisted on extending the winter time.
Although no reason was given for the decision, some considered it an attempt to provide an opportunity for those fasting in Ramadan to break their fast early, according to winter time, at around six o’clock in the evening instead of seven, if work in summer time is applied at its usual time.
However, the Maronite Church, which is the largest church in Lebanon, announced the day before yesterday that it would violate the decision, which it described as surprising, and said that no consultations took place with other concerned parties and international standards were not taken into account, and said that it would advance the time by an hour on Saturday evening, and institutions and parties announced Christian schools have similar plans.
Lebanese Airlines (Middle East Airlines) said that its hours and other devices will remain on winter time in line with Miqati’s decision, but it will adjust its flight times to be in line with international times. The state-run telecom company has sent messages to customers advising them to set the time on their phones manually, starting yesterday, in case the clock on their phones advances automatically.