Thursday, March 2, 2023

Restoring back daylight saving time in Egypt: 1000 years of “apply” and “not apply”

On Wednesday, Egypt’s government announced that it was going to apply or rather to re-apply the daylight saving time again in Egypt after cancelling it in July 2016.

The daylight-saving time will be applied to start from the last Friday in April to the end of the last Thursday in October of the Gregorian year.

The aim of re-applying the system already applied in almost 40% of the countries in the world during summer is to rationalize energy and fuel which to exported to Europe. Already the plan was declared last August.

Alexandria's Stanley bridge
Lights of Alexandria Stanley Bridge in May 2016

It will be one hot summer indeed.

Now all I think about now is how daylight-saving time was one of the most cancelled and uncancelled decisions in the history of the Egyptian Republic.

Historically, Egypt knew the daylight-saving time in 1957 “The Nasser era” when it was introduced as a power-saving measure before it was cancelled in 1975 “Sadat era”.

Enter the Mubarak era and daylight-saving time was reinstated again in 1982 before cancelling again in 1985. Then after three years in 1988, it was applied again until 2011. It was the longest time we have ever had it.

In 2011 after ousting Mubarak and based on a short survey it was abolished because it was regarded to be an ineffective practice at curbing power usage by Essam Sharaf’s cabinet then.

In 2014, the system was reinstated in 2014 “Sisi era” to ease the consumption of energy as Egypt was suffering from rolling power blackouts then it was cancelled again in July 2016.

That decision is just an example of how the Egyptian cabinets or rather administrations make up its mind and how the Egyptian parliaments are voiceless and powerless because if they were truly doing their job when it comes to supervision and accountability representing the Egyptian taxpayers, we would know already if the daylight-saving time was effective or not.

Needless to say, there are similar issues or decisions that became “too changeable” in Egyptian life like for instance the Egyptian High school or Thanaywa Ama. I, my cousins, my mother and my aunts had been through different shapes of Thanaywa Ama and the exams system.

Egyptians will understand me, especially those who had or have national education. Every education minister comes with a plan to revamp secondary education in order to solve the higher education problems and university admissions problems but he ends up creating a bigger problem.

The same thing can be said about that “6th-grade” dilemma in the Primary stage and whether we reinstate it or not.

I just wish a single education minister comes in front of the parliament and shares with the taxpayers the results of reinstating and un-reinstating 6th grade as well as the results of the different kinds of Thanaywa Ama we had !!

Recently we saw first-hand the economic disaster created by the L/C system for importing that was applied by the CBE in February 2022 and then cancelled in December.

We are still living its repercussions as an economy, industry and above all citizens.

Maybe if the government had done something called social dialogue for all things matter, it would have heard another view that would give it another perspective.

We laugh and say that this is a typical Egyptian thing, but it is not, it is sad.

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