Saturday, December 31, 2011

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Facing The Future: 2012

               So, 2011 was one of the greatest years mankind has ever seen. This was a year of innovation, entertainment, evolution, revolution, life, death, hope and despair. I've never seen a year in which the people took so many matters into their own hands. There were many events, let's have a small review of the year.

-Estonia accepted the Euro into their currency.
-Southern Sudan held the referendum on independence.
-Floods and mudslides in Brazil killed 903.
-The Arab Spring happened, in which President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia, after 23 years in power.
-37 are killed and 180 others were wounded in a bombing at Domododevo Airport in Russia.
-Arab Spring: The Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigns after widespread protests demanding him to leave the country.
-Uncertainty over Lybian oil arises, rising its price 20%, causing the Energy Crisis.
-A 9.1 earthquake hits the coast of Japan, bringing with it a great tsunami which floods most of the island and kills many.
-Arab Spring: Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain, declared a three-month state of emergency as troops from the Gulf Co-operation are sent to quell the civil unrest.
-Arab Spring: Lybia's declared a no-fly zone in response of allegations of governmental abuse against civilians.
-Rebecca Black's Friday appears on Youtube.
-Arab Spring: Lybian rebels keep getting attacked by Gadhafi's troops. Military intervention authorized; French pilots do reconnaisance missions.
-Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo is arrested, thereby ending the 2010-2011 Ivoran Crisis and Civil War.
-Around two billion people watch the royal wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine Middleton.
-May 1: President Barack Obama announces the death of Osama Bin Laden.
-The European Union agrees to the 78 million Euro rescue deal for Portugal.
-Former Bosnian Serb Army commander Ratco Madlic, wanted for genocide and war crimes, is arrested.
-Chile's Puyehue volcano erupts, blocking airways and forcing 3,000 to evacuate.
-Arab Spring: Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh travels to Saudi Arabia for treatment of an injury from an attack which was held on the presidential palace. His transfer of power to the Vice-President Abd Al-Rab Mansur Al-Hadi is celebrated.
-Arab Spring: Thousands of Syrians flee to Turkey after Syrian troops lay siege to Jisr ash-Shugur.
-The world's first artificial organ is created, using an artificial windpipe coated with stem cells.
-South Sudan secedes from Sudan, from the referendum held in January.
-Goran Hadzic is detained in Serbia, becoming the last of 161 people indicted by the International Criminal Tribute for the former Yugoslavia.
-A famine is declared in Somalia, the first in 30 years.
-Space Shuttle Atlantis lands at the Kennedey Space Center, finishing the NASA's Space Program.
-76 people are killed in twin terrorist attacks in Norway.
-12.8 million are affected in Thailand after a great flood.
-Arab Spring: 121 killed in a tank raid and 150 others killed in the rest of Syria.
-NASA announces that the Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter found evidence of liquid water on the surface.
-Juno, the first solar-powered spacecraft, is launched on a mission to Jupiter.
-Arab Spring: Lybian rebels succesfuly overthrow the government of Gadhafi.
-India and Bangladesh end the 40-year border demarcation dispute.
-Zanberry ferry sinks, carrying 800 people, killing 240.
-September 17: Occupy Wall Street begins.
-100 Kenyans die after a petroleum pipe explodes.
-The U.N. launches a $357 million appeal for the victims of the 2011 Sindh floods in Pakistan.
-2011 Mogadishu Bombing: 100 die in a car bombing in Mogadishu.
-The toll from the Cambodia floods reaches 207.
-Israel and Palestine make a prisoner swap, in which Gilad Salit is exchanged for 1,207 Palestinan and Israeli-Arab prisoners.
-Arab Spring: Muammar Gadhafi is killed in Sirte, ending the Lybian Civil War.
-The ETA ends its 40-year violence campaign which killed over 800 people.
-A 7.2 earthquake hits in Turkey, killing over 600.
-After an emergency meeting in Brussels, the European Union announced an agreement to tackle the European Sovereign Debt Crisis, which includes a writedown of 50% of Greek bonds, a recapitalisation of European banks and an increase of the bailout fund of the European Financial Stability Facility totaling to €1 trillion.
-October 31: Symbolical Date in which the population of the world reaches 7 billion.
-UNESCO admitted Palestine as a member.
-The U.S. declares the end to the war against Iraq.
-Tropical Storm Washi creates 1,257 fatalities in the Philippines.

                   Not only did these events happen, there were also many deaths. The most noticeable, of course, were Osama Bin Laden, Muammar Gadhafi, and Steve Jobs. Amy Winehouse and Ryan Dunn were other noticable casualties. The Sultan of Saudi Arabia is worth mentioning. The most recent, noticeable one was Kim Jong Il, which means that there will be a lot of change in South Korea also.

                   So, yeah, there were many life-changing events this last year. There will never be another one like this one. What I do hope, though, is that the next one is better. Why? Because this year, the revolution, the change, it can't end. If we want to progress, we have to keep moving forward. The world is advancing, nobody can be left behind.

                    What will happen in 2012? Will North Korea become capitalist? Will cloning be legal? Will there be a big change, like the Mayans said? (No apocalypse, those are lies). What about the new generation? Will they try to take power from the old one?

                    We have to recognize, though, that this year, the Person of the Year isn't anybody specific. It isn't Obama. It isn't Gadhafi. Not Kim Jong-Il. Not even Steve Jobs. No, this was the year of the protester. This year, the protester freed the Middle East, the protester occupied Wall Street, and the protester will be the one to decide what's going to come next. We're not going to take any crap from anybody anymore, we will either be free, or die trying, and in 2012, I can only hope that the world keeps moving forward like we did this year.

Let's have an awesome year.