Speed Reads

really, what time is it?

Lebanon to reverse chaotic daylight savings change this week, prime minister says

Lebanon will begin daylight savings time on Wednesday of this week, the country's caretaker prime minister announced Monday, undoing his "unpopular" and chaotic choice to delay the change by a month, ABC News reports.

"The new daylight saving time will start at midnight Wednesday," Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced following a Cabinet meeting.

Lebanon was initially scheduled to change its clocks as normal, on the last Sunday in March. But a few days before the switch, Mikati suggested pushing the time change to April 21, a move believed to be in support of the country's Muslim population and its observance of the holy month of Ramadan. (Because of daylight savings, sunset would fall around 7 p.m. rather than 6 p.m., meaning Muslims would have to wait an additional hour before breaking their fast.)

But a number of organizations, including Lebanon's Maronite church, the country's largest Christian institution, objected to the change, arguing it would "cause chaos in the country and put it at odds with international standards," CNBC summarizes. Consequently, millions of citizens are now abiding by two different zones. Even Apple and Google are confused, CNBC continues — on iPhones and iPads, Lebanon's time zone is unchanged; on Google, the clock is one hour behind.

Though some have made light of the clock discrepancy by posting memes online, others, like Lebanese writer Mustapha Hamoui, believe the problem is a bit more insidious than it appears at first glance.

"The summer time issue is not a trivial matter, but a symptom of a deeper crisis of Christian political representation in Lebanon, and it deserves serious attention," Hamoui wrote on Twitter. "It was a grave insult for many Christians to witness Berri and Miqati decide on a matter that affects everyone's lives without even asking for their opinion."