As 2010 draws to a close some of us have already drafted our resolutions for the coming year, others like myself, cannot help but take one last glance over our shoulders for it is only by doing so that we are truly able to move forward. When we look back we see that in 2010 Mother Nature demanded our attention with earthquakes that shook us to the core, floods that drowned our homes and volcanic ash that halted our very movement. We proved our ignorance with an oil spill, which after months of stubbornness desecrated everything in its path. She in turn swallowed 33 miners and kept them hostage.
Throughout this ongoing battle we witnessed some of us pull together and others tear apart. We saw environmental activists rush to rescue the oil covered wild life. We watched as thousands gave aid to earthquake ravaged and submerged countries. We experienced the feeling of pride in the human mind when scientists and engineers came together inventing a contraption, which pulled men unscathed from the dark bowels of the earth.
2010 proved to us that one’s convictions are worth fighting for even if it means being imprisoned half your life, the moment Aung San Suu Kyi took her first breaths of freedom.
This past year also introduced us to the United States’ new enemy who, for a change, dons no turban and has no beard. Julian Assange founder of the latest weapon of mass destruction Wikileaks, has for the first time in modern history given the people a chance to eaves drop on the goings-on of the selected few who govern our world. And although most of what we learned was not entirely new, with Wikileaks this information suddenly had the power to officially hold governments accountable.
Segregation seemed to be the word of the year for both Korea and Sudan with Norths and Souths refusing to live in harmony with one another.
Meanwhile, on our side of the globe the United Arab Emirates unveiled its Burj Khalifa, the tallest building on the planet, and Qatar became the first Arab country chosen to host the FIFA World Cup. Yet we also continued to watch as injustices and crimes were committed on our land and in our waters when the Israeli military raided ships carrying aid to Palestinians in Gaza, killing unarmed volunteers and shocking the entire world with its blatantly disparaging excuses. We watched dumbfounded as they raided Al Aqsa mosque and refused to halt their illegal settlement building. We felt Islamophobia shivers all the way from New York City down our spines and had to endure a lowly person rally to burn the Quran.
We heard President Barack Obama announce the end of combat operations in Iraq and while it still remains a battered country we wondered what difference did the US interference actually make in the life of the average Iraqi citizen. We witnessed democracy dying in Kuwait as journalists were imprisoned and members of parliament dragged from their homes and beaten up by their own government.
Indeed we should be drafting our new year’s resolutions but not after we have looked back at the images and heard the sounds of 2010 resonate in our minds, if for nothing else but to sculpt our dreams and hone our aspirations for a better tomorrow.
Here’s hoping that 2010 was a lesson in life we will not soon forget.
This article was published in The Gulf Today and Al Khaleej newspapers on Dec. 30th, 2010.