Future historians may come to regard 2022 as a hinge in history, marking the end of one era and the beginning of another. Major war returned to Europe, with the attendant threats of nuclear strikes, the door closed firmly shut on the U.S. policy of strategic engagement with China, and the world wrapped up the longest era of a monarch in modern history. Nonetheless, the past twelve months did bring glimpses of joy. A Middle Eastern country successfully organized the FIFA world cup Messi’s Argentina won eventually, the COVID-19 pandemic eased in many countries, and James Webb showed a side of the Universe that we never saw before.
Every year has its share of significant world events. 2022 is no exception. Here is our list of the most significant events of the year. You may want to read what follows closely. Several of these stories could continue to dominate the headlines in 2023.
The population of the planet reached eight billion people in 2022, specifically on October 15. It took 12 years to get there from seven billion, and it will likely take at least another 15 years to reach nine billion.
However, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict will continue into 2023, escalating tensions in international relations, the global energy and food crisis it precipitated, and the indirect conflict it carries between Moscow and the West and NATO. This will raise concerns that the conflict could escalate and threaten global security, the economy, and the standard of living.
However, the most notable event, which was closely followed by hundreds of millions of people worldwide, was the Qatar World Cup. It was a remarkable event in football history, whether in terms of the successes of the host nation, the successes of the Moroccan team, or Lionel Messi’s achievement of the dream of millions of fans to lift the World Cup. In addition to the precedent represented by the French Stephanie Frappart as the tournament’s first female referee, along with Brazilian Noisa Buck and Mexican Karen Medina.
September 8 was tragic for many around the world, with Buckingham Palace announcing the death of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 97, a departure that raised questions about the fate of the British monarchy and its continued domination of many countries around the world.
Not long after the Queen’s death, the administration’s crisis worsened. Liz Truss resigned 45 days after taking office, and former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak was chosen to take over on October 25. He became the first person of color to take over, the son of two East African immigrants, both of Indian descent.
As for Syria, two major events happened in 2022. After the visit of UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan to Damascus in late 2021, the first visit of its kind by an Emirati official to the Syrian capital since the start of the Syrian war more than 10 years ago, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad landed in Abu Dhabi last March, in his first visit to an Arab country in 11 years, where he met with Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the Ruler of Dubai, Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
The second significant development is the growing rumors of a potential reconciliation between Ankara and Damascus, which were strengthened by Erdogan’s remarks on December 15 in which he said he had proposed to Russian President Vladimir Putin a meeting with President al-Assad in a trilateral setting, and Moscow declared that it was working to make the proposal work.
Furthermore, three visits caught the attention of the entire world, including the historic trip made by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Saudi Arabia on December 7th. During this tour, he met with several Arab leaders and signed significant trade and investment agreements, which piqued the interest of observers concerned about the further decline of U.S. influence in the Middle East.
Xi Jinping’s visit to Saudi Arabia came a few months after U.S. President Joe Biden’s important visit to Saudi Arabia in July, despite the latter’s previous criticism against the regime in Riyadh. A visit in which he melted the ice with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. His visit focused on the issue of the energy crisis caused by the Russian-Ukrainian war, after which it seemed that Riyadh did not take much of Washington’s directives on oil export policy, and repeatedly declared its commitment to OPEC+ decisions regarding the needs of the global market and price stability.
The third visit, which almost caused a global crisis and perhaps the outbreak of war, is the visit of U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to Taiwan in August, ignoring threats from China, which considers the island part of its territory and has been pledging for decades to restore it. As a result, China conducted one of its largest military maneuvers near Taiwan, in response to the visit of the U.S. official. The White House, on the other hand, in order to contain the situation, was keen to emphasize that the official U.S. position on the “one China” policy will not change.
On July 8, the world was surprised by the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a speech in Nara, where he was killed by former Japanese navy soldier Tsuya Yamagami, a rare crime in the country.
The world was also surprised by an announcement in April that billionaire Elon Musk had taken control of Twitter in a 44-billiom-dollar deal, before announcing on December 21 that he would resign as CEO of Twitter when he finds someone “foolish enough to take the job.”
What has occupied the world for weeks is also following the trial sessions about actor Johnny Depp’s dispute with his ex-wife Amber Heard, and the scandals and disagreements between them, which ended with Heard being fined $ 15 million in compensation in favor of Depp.
In November, the world watched the U.S. midterm elections that reinforced the American political divide in the run-up to the next presidential election in 2024, as Republicans won a majority in the House of Representatives while Democrats won a majority of the Senate with 50 seats. Despite that, Biden described it as “a demonstration of the strength and resilience of American democracy.”
On the other side of the Atlantic, French President Emmanuel Macron lost the absolute majority in parliament, with Marie Le Pen’s far-right Democratic Rally party making significant headway in parliamentary elections in June.
Another resounding surprise was recorded in Italy’s elections, where Giorgia Meloni took over as prime minister in October after her national-conservative and right-wing Brothers of Italy party won parliamentary elections in September.
In exchange for these “right-wing” successes, Brazil recorded the loss of its president, Jair Bolsonaro, to left-wing President Luiz Lula da Silva.
Contrary to these peaceful changes through the ballot box, Sri Lanka witnessed a popular uprising against the rule of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, whose palace was stormed by demonstrators in July, amid the country’s worst economic crisis with fuel and food shortages, exacerbated by the terrorist attacks in 2019 that hit the tourism sector and then worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. On July 20, Parliament chose Ranil Wickremesinghe as the country’s interim president.
Numerous scientific breakthroughs and events have taken place over the world, and history will remember them for a very long time. Since the “Covid-19” virus murdered hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, the year 2022 began with the threat of the mutated virus “Omicron” to it from 2021, but its fatal danger has decreased by 50% to 70% despite its spread in most countries.
Cosmic calculations, according to images taken by the James Webb Telescope, which began operating in July, showed that it took first-of-its-kind images of the universe, including the “most distant galaxy” from Earth, which scientists believe is more than 13 billion years old.
NASA announced on September 28 that it had changed the trajectory of an asteroid by deliberately hitting it with a spacecraft, a test of whether humans could prevent space rocky objects from hitting Earth in the future.
Also, in a positive development for humanity, the University of Oxford announced a new vaccine with 80% effectiveness against malaria, which kills about 400,000 people annually.