Thursday Blues

Tik Root | The Economist

ON AUGUST 15th Yemenis woke up and, although it was a Thursday, for the first time since a two-day weekend was introduced in the late 1990s, everyone had to go to work.

Yemen is the last country in the world to switch to a Friday-Saturday weekend and abandon Thursday as a day of rest; Afghans and Iranians still take half the day off. The shift is meant to better align the Yemeni workweek with that of its trading partners in the Middle East, Asia and the West. “They were wasting a Thursday,” says Nabil al-Khamery, a prominent car-dealer whose business relies on international trade. “To save time and money, you have to [correspond] with the system.”