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Post: Confusion reigns in Lebanon because of the summer


Lebanon woke up at two different times this Sunday, amid a dispute between political and religious authorities, who are deciding whether to extend the works for a month during the winter.

The interim prime minister, Najib Miqat, decided on Thursday to move the time forward by one hour, starting on April 20, instead of starting daylight saving time on the last weekend of March, as has been the case in Lebanon, Europe and other regions.

While no reason was given for the decision, some believed it was an attempt to appeal to Muslims by allowing the Ramadan fast to be broken at the start of winter at around 6 pm instead of 7 pm in summer. Working hours are used at the usual time.

But the influential Maronite Church, Lebanon’s largest, said on Saturday it disagreed with the decision, calling it a “surprise” and saying other stakeholders had not been consulted and concerns had not been taken into account.

He said he would extend the hour on Saturday night, and Christian institutions, parties and schools have announced similar plans. The Lebanese Minister of Education, Abbas al-Halabi, announced on Sunday that schools will continue to operate during the summer, contrary to the government’s decision.

At the same time, it looked as if Islamic institutions and parties would continue to operate through the winter, further deepening divisions in Lebanon.

Businesses and media organizations said they would also start daylight saving time on Saturday night, amid growing calls for a defiance.

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Source: Al Ittihad

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