Lebanon has Two Time-Zones, for Now…

Lebanese Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati last week announced that Lebanon, though they normally set their clocks forward an hour on March 26th for daylight savings time, would in fact be delaying the change until April 20th. Though no reason was given, it is most likely due to the muslim world heading into Ramadan. With the clocks not set forward, the nations muslims may break fast around 6PM rather than 7PM.

After the decision was announced, many Christian groups, including the Maronite church (the largest church in Lebanon), announced they would not be adhering to the governments decision, and would be setting their clocks forward. Lebanese Education Minister Abbas Halabi also announced that schools would not be adhering to the decision either, and would in fact set their clocks forward as well. LBCI and MTV, two of Lebanon’s biggest news companies, are also setting their clocks forward. Middle East Airlines, Lebanon’s national carrier, said they would keep their clocks in the old time, but set flight times forward in order to keep with international norms. Some businesses in the country have followed suit.

The timezone is inadvertently causing further religious divide in the nation, as some refer to the old time as “Muslim Time” and daylight savings time as “Christian Time”.