Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Now that didn’t hurt, did it?

At the end of Ramadan, I complained about how valuable work days are wasted due to the haphazard setting of the days of religious holidays, which are based on the lunar calendar. I also suggested that we should be able to calculate these dates, which would be a more progressive way to deal with this issue.

Since then, the feast of sacrifice (Adha) ended up lasting 9 days (it should only last four), due to sloppy dealing with setting of the holiday. At the time, it was estimated that this holiday cost the local economy 180 million dinars, and businesses were fuming.

King Abdullah later sent a letter to the prime minister asking him to reevaluate public holidays, and specifically requesting not to consider his birthday, or that of King Hussein, as public holidays. The king said that the best way to celebrate his birthday is to work hard and be productive.

Today, the prime minister announced a public holiday schedule for the next five years. In it, public holidays were reduced from 21 to 15 days per year. Also notable, the dates of Islamic holidays have been set according to the western calendar, taking away the guess work as to when they will start and end.

Finally, a win for common sense.

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3 Comments:

At 12:55 AM, Anonymous Qwaider قويدر said...

I did propose a way that might be considered a good idea. Check out this article (toward the end)
There's nothing wrong with following the Lunar calendar for these things. In fact, adding a day before would be fine too.
There's nothing wrong with giving people some additional time off, it might be good for them. What are they going to do with it anyway other than stay home and relax. Their income doesn't qualify them to spend it in the Riviera as you know

 
At 9:43 AM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Qwaider: There is no problem with using the lunar calendar. The problem is with how do we set it.

I disagree that there is no problem with giving people paid vacations for no good reason. It is enough that an entire month goes by with a 70% drop in productivity.

I would also suggest that people can't afford to go to the Riviera because they have no respect for work or for time. Maybe if we learned the value of these thing, we will be able to improve our economy.

 
At 9:54 PM, Anonymous Alex said...

I'm with Khalaf on this. If you can plan ahead of time for time off (ie, have a schedule), then you can take a vacation if you like. A day or two in Aqaba or Petra or Wadi Rum by a few hundred people can be quite beneficial for the economy.

But...if you don't know what days you have off, it is very difficult to plan ahead.

Also, his point about the loss of productivity is right on. I don't understand how people can expect prosperity without hard work.

 

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