BEIRUT — The Grand Serail announced Thursday that the transition into summer timings, which was scheduled to take place over the weekend, was “exceptionally” postponed for a month. It remains unclear whether timings on digital appliances and in international systems will be automatically adjusted in Lebanon regardless of the decision.
A decision from the secretary general of the cabinet announced that it has "exceptionally" postponed the transition until midnight April 20-21.
Lebanon usually follows suit with Europe's shift into daylight savings time on the last Sunday of March.
Cybersecurity expert Majd Dhainy told L’Orient Today Thursday that “mobile phones, laptops, and other electronic devices automatically update their clock and timing because they are programmed to synchronize with the network time protocol (NTP) servers.”
“NTP servers are specialized servers that provide accurate time information over a network, typically the internet. If a country decides not to change their clocks for daylight saving time, the NTP servers will typically take this into consideration and continue to provide the correct time information for that country, but they have to be officially notified,” Dhainy explained.
“We’re still not sure if the clocks will not shift automatically or they’ll shift and people have to fix them manually,” Dhainy explained, noting that NTP servers are managed by several organizations and governments.
“If the Lebanese government contacts the officials in charge and notifies them that they wish to remain in daylight savings mode for one extra month things will go smoothly,” Dhainy explained.
Middle East Airlines will push forward the departure times of all departing aircraft by one hour, from midnight on March 25 until midnight on April 20, 2023, the airline said in a statement issued Thursday.
The Grand Serail has not responded to questions regarding the consequences of the decision or whether a procedure was launched to notify NTP servers.
Airports and international flights
Cybersecurity expert Roland Abi Najem also told L’Orient Today that a country choosing to “randomly change its timing could cause a lot of chaos and expecting people to simply automatically change the time on their phones is not feasible."
"How will airports and international flights be affected? You can’t cut off a country and change its time zone just with a simple decision from the Council of Ministers," said Najem.
Fares Gemayel, one of Mikati's advisors, confirmed that this decision was taken as Ramadan began.
Sayed Ali Moukalled told L’Orient Today that the delayed shift to daylight savings time "won't have an impact" on fasting hours.
“Muslims should fast from sunrise till sunset, astrology experts put the time based on the sunset and sunrise, therefore the time is set by experts so people who are observing the fast know exactly when the sun set and rose.”