Happy New Year! When I sat down to think what had been the real defining moments for me this year, I was struck by how 2011 seems to have been quite a sad, yet for the better good type year. The big thing for both B and I was the Arab Spring protests where thousands of people died including 846 in Egypt (between January 25 and April 19), over 5000 in Syria (according to UN reports), between 1784-1870 in Yemen (until September 25), 224 in Tunisia and 25000–30000 in Libya alone.
Even though I have always been into following world events, actually being in an Arab country when all of this was happening was a really interesting experience that I intend on keeping with me always. But the hardest thing was actually being married to someone from one of the countries that was and still is most affected – Egypt. One of the scariest things for both B and I was trying to stay sane as we heard from our family in Egypt about the horrible things taking place and how they had become a part of daily life. When you can’t leave the house because masked men are roaming up and down the streets with guns and the police burn down shops for selling food to protestors, you know they have got bad.
While things are still troublesome, I am happy in the knowledge that all of the bad stuff really has made them stronger and if anything I found a lot more respect for what people outside of our normal existence go through on a daily basis. Here is an interesting read on the answers people in Egypt are hoping to get in 2012 and below is a fantastic video summarising 2011.
So I have to agree with Time Magazine and say that my person of the year also goes to the protestors – just not those bloody idiots in the UK who got their knickers in a twist over the summer!
Now it is time to write my list of resolutions and try to keep them this year. Here is to 2012 and to everyone fighting for freedom and what is right, may the path not be as bloody as this year.