Looking back to the beginning of the year, the events of 2020 have definitely defied any predictions.
With the start of the new decade, we were excited for new experiences and new beginnings. Everyone was apt to make this year count. However, now that we’re halfway through 2020, not only are we throwing our New Year resolutions down the drain, but also throwing bets on what else this year has in store for us. So much has happened that I’m sure you couldn’t keep track, so I’ll give you an overview just in case.
We started the year off casually, when the killing of an Iranian general by a US drone strike in Baghdad ensued tension between both countries, and we all woke up on January 3rd to #WorldWar3 trending on social media..
Donald trump was rendered the third president in US history to be impeached. Not only has he survived it, but has also become the first impeached president to pursue re-election in the current presidential race (also running against rapper Kanye West, but that’s a whole other story).
"We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States!" - Kanye West
Meanwhile, an odd virus was identified in China, and no one thought twice about it until three months later when it was declared a global pandemic by WHO, and the whole world was under lockdown. Shockingly enough, we have come to a time where practicing things as basic as hygiene could save your life.
The outbreak of Covid-19 was definitely a turning point to everyone’s plans, and prevailing economic impacts were to be felt everywhere. Ironically enough, the world has been through a lot just because some random citizen was staring at a bat and said to himself: Dinner is here!
Amidst all the pandemic chaos, the sports world was struck with grief by the death of five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant and his thirteen-year-old daughter in a helicopter crash.
Let’s not forget Yemen experiencing one of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. With Covid-19 rapidly spreading and its effects on Yemen's economy growing tenfold; thousands have died from malnutrition and poor health.
The corona-virus isn’t the only thing China is suffering from, but also religious extremism. The mass internment of China’s Uighur, a Muslim ethnic minority, is an ongoing cultural genocide. The Uighur Muslims are being repressed under the defense of the Chinese government training them. They are banned from practicing any religious beliefs: they are forced to eat pork during Ramadan, females are being forced to wed Christian men and access to mosques is restricted.
A major occurrence in 2020 is the Black Lives matter campaign. George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed in police custody in Minneapolis. The video of him being choked to death and begging for his life while repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe” triggered the public, and protests against police atrocity overtook the US.
The black lives matter wasn’t the only movement the US witnessed this year. The conviction of Harvey Weinstein, Hollywood movie producer, debuted a #MeToo movement that led women around the globe to speak out against sexual assault and harassment. In 2017, 13 women had come forward with detailed similar allegations against Mr. Weinstein and it wasn’t until March 11th, 2020 that accused abuser was sentenced to twenty-three years in prison for both criminal rape and assault.
Overall, this year has definitely been an eye-opening one, so many things have happened that it’s not even surprising anymore. But amidst all this whirlwind of drama and tragedy, what have we learnt?
The confinement throughout the year has surely taught us not to take things for granted. Just because something is easily accessible doesn’t mean it will always be available: who would have thought that simply going for a walk could one day be considered a crime?
It has also taught us to be more present, to appreciate every moment with our loved ones because you never know when would be your last. To realize that everything is subjected to change, and no matter how abruptly and unexpectedly it happens, we are forced to adapt. That not everything is deserving of your energy, so invest in what and who truly matter.
And most importantly, remember to take care of your minds and your homes, because sometimes that’s all we’re left with. Everything starts and ends within.
Sara El Husseiny