The 88th annual Academy Awards, or better known as The Oscars took place on February 28, 2016. The highlight of the event was Leonardo DiCaprio’s long-awaited win. Leo won the award for best actor of the year for his role in The Revenant, which had the most nominations this year. Many fans have anticipated his win ever since his memorable role in The Titanic. In the weeks prior to the award ceremony, various social media outlets were trending with the speculation if Leo would finally win his worthy award after many previous nominations. Other notable awards were Spotlight as the best picture, and Mad Max: Fury Road as the winner of the most Oscars this year.
Spring is often associated with the warming of weather, bloom of nature, and the approach of Summer, but unfortunately the beginning of the Spring 2016 was tragic for Nagorno Karabakh. On the late night of April 1st, towards daybreak of April 2nd, deadly clashes took place along the Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijani line of contact. The events lasted four days, reaching ceasefire on April 5th. For this reason, the events are often called the “Four-Day War” or “April War”. Both sides faced large losses to both soldiers and weaponry. The aftermath of the events left people at a loss, afraid, and somewhat traumatic in the following months.
The 2016 Summer Olympics took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from August 5-21. Artur Aleksanyan won the gold medal in wrestling, holding the title of the second Armenian representative to win an olympic gold. Wrestler Mihran Arutyunyan won a silver medal bringing the total medal count to 1 gold, and 3 silver. Armenia won the remaining two silver medals in weightlifting by Simon Martirosyan and Gor Minasyan. Gold medalist Artur Aleksanyan also revealed his shirt during the medal ceremony, which had a picture of one of the many Armenian soldiers who had died during the April War.
In the midst of August, a powerful photograph of a young boy went viral (as seen below) which caused controversy worldwide. Omran Daqneesh is the name of this young child who was one of the many severely injured in the airstrikes over Aleppo. The photo shows the boy covered in dust and blood, and video clips show him to be nearly unresponsive to the surroundings. The boy did not cry or scream, given the circumstances. This photo quickly spread across numerous media outlets, showing the world the horrible aftermath of war.
According to the official information provided by the WWF (World Wildlife Fund), giant pandas are no longer threatened by extinction as of September 4th. Various sources claimed a point in time when only about 100 pandas were left worldwide, which has increased to over 1,000 in recent years. Though the condition of the species is relatively stable, they remain under the title of “vulnerable” and will require further attention to avoid future downfalls. WWF worked with China in order to achieve the goal of protecting one of the most notable wildlife creatures. They set up 67 reserves which will protect two-thirds of the entire world population of giant pandas.
After months of campaigning, nearly the entire world was following the news for the final verdict of the U.S. Presidential Elections. On November 8th, Republican representative Donald Trump won the presidency over opponent Hillary Clinton. Trump will officially take over office and replace Barack Obama in January 2017. The results of the election left many Americans in shock and disarray to the point that people were caught sobbing on live television during the acceptance speech. Whether Trump’s future plan for the country will bring advantages more than disadvantages, people must wait to see.
Unfortunately, the year came to a close with a chain of tragic events. On December 19th, a Russian ambassador named Andrey Karlov was murdered by a gunman in Ankara, Turkey. While firing several shots, the gunman shouted, “God is greatest! Do not forget Aleppo! Do not forget Syria!”.The purpose of the shooting was related to Russia’s role in the recent Aleppo, Syria attacks and destruction. Karlov’s body was soon returned to Moscow for his memorial ceremony, and the gunman was reported dead in his attempt to flee.
After five years of gruesome civil war, countless deaths, and starvation, Aleppo is in the news for a positive reason. On December 20th, around 25,000 people were evacuated from the rebel-held east. People emerged onto the streets and buildings in celebration for the first large Christmas party held in Aleppo since 2012. Despite the freezing Winter weather, people of various genders and ages gathered around to happily celebrate the holiday season.
Despite the various ups and downs of the year, countless terrorist attacks were inevitable throughout 2016. Nearly 2,000 attacks were reported worldwide, each with varying degrees of consequences. The majority of these attacks were associated with the Islamic State. The region which faced the largest amount of destruction was Mosul, Iraq with 63 reported attacks and over 3,000 deaths. Consecutively, Baghdad with 185 attacks and over 1,300 deaths. The areas of conflict were mainly in the Middle East, including the western regions of Turkey, Afghanistan, and certain areas of Saudi Arabia.