Posted by Kuku on 4:19 PM

I was reading Sudan Tribune this afternoon and discovered this article.

"Sudanese cabinet today has decided to adopt a two-day weekend starting from January 26.

The Council of Ministers on Sunday decided to expand the weekend holiday from the current one day (Friday) to two days (Friday and Saturday) beginning from Saturday January 26, for a period of six month for studying and assessment.

The Council of Ministers called on the Ministry of Labour to adopt the necessary arrangements to implement this decision in a manner that comply with the national and international labour laws and guarantee enhancement of the productivity."

It got me thinking. I remember several years back when this idea was widely discussed by a lot of people in Khartoum. In fact, it has been expected for a while. The actual notion of having a two day weekend seemed to be a foreign idea and many quickly dismissed it. The Egyptians, Saudis and most other Arab states had implemented the 2 day weekend. The Saudis as well as most other Gulf States added Thursday and Friday, while the Egyptian have Friday and Saturday off.

Several folks I remember discussing this topic with said that they don't want to seem to be copying the Saudis and implement a Thursday-Friday weekend. While the proponents of the Friday-Saturday, used the fact that having Saturday off would be a positive because it wouldn't disrupt the banking and financial sectors as the world's stock markets and other institutions close on Saturday as well. A (pious) friend of mine actually said that the fact that Saturday is to be added as a weekly holiday was due to the fact that many Sudanese companies had been doing business with Israel and the Jews. Made me laugh! I love how we are so paranoid about so many things, how America is out to get us and how Darfur is a Jewish conspiracy. Give me a break!!! Moving on...

This is going to be interesting in the long run. I personally believe that this is a positive move. Seeing how this is just a 'study and assessment' phase, I think we are going to very easily adopt this. Also, how will the Christian schools change their schedules? Because I know they take both Friday and Sunday off to please both Muslim and Christian students. Will they have a three day weekend? Or will this just continue with their regular schedules? Time will tell.


H.a.T. said...

finally a 2 day weekend! but the question you posed at the end quickly came to mind when i read the heading of your post. I remember back in the day at St. Francis we got Friday & Sunday off, with school on Saturday. How has Egypt been able to pull it off with its large Coptic community?

AK said...

Good point. I doubt the Egyptians would have a 3-day weekend for their Christian schools. But then again, almost all of the Christian schools in Sudan I know are private schools and don't have to abide by most governmental guidelines.

Lets wait and see what ends up happening.