Saturday, April 2, 2011

On New Time

Rabat - Morocco will set its clocks one hour ahead on Saturday April 2 at midnight, said an anonymous source from the Ministry of the Modernization of the Public Sector.

Morocco will resume its standard time on July 31, 2011 at midnight. 

Last Year's Blog Post:

In the 1970s the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco made the decision to stop using daylight savings time as it had been doing and instead chose to keep their clocks unchanged as the summer approached. They chose to stay on what is called Universal Coordinated Time or GMT Zulu.
For those that do not know, many governments choose to organize themselves and their citizenry to set their clocks an hour forward in the spring time so as to consolidate daylight during work and active hours and thereby save electricity, or so the theory goes.
Morocco, along with many other parts of the world decided not to take part in this ritual for almost forty years, there being, after all, a ridiculous megalomania in thinking one can control time. Changing the time by governmental decree is disruptive, confusing and ineffective in the many places where people don’t have clocks. Moreover, the Islamic world observes the movements of the moon above those of the sun.
For the last two years however, Morocco has begun re-observing daylight savings time in an effort to be more environmentally friendly and to remain in the same time zone as its European trading partners. What this means for a person in a berber village in the atlas mountains is a choice, the choice to observe Old Time (aka Greenwich Mean Time Zulu) or New Time (aka Western Europe Savings Time). Meeting someone at a particular time must be specified whether Old or New time. Buses and transportation must be clarified. The whole thing is rather confusing and not necessarily effective. After all, shops still open when the owner arrives, things get done when it is light but not too hot out, and you go home when the sun goes down. Whether that is 7pm or 6pm does not matter a whole lot. 

Still, where else can you get away with showing up to a date an hour late and saying, “Oh, I thought you meant the other 6pm.”

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