2020 ends: 10 uplifting stories from the Middle East

Marred by the coronavirus pandemic, the year 2020 has been a challenge for all. Here are some stories that provided glimmers of hope. The year 2020 has been a struggle for the world, not least the Middle East following the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.  Iran  was one of the hardest hit countries, and earlier this year had the highest rate of covid-19 in the region; elsewhere in Sudan and Yemen, existing issues, including war and famine were compounded by the arrival of the virus. 

With several vaccines  being now being rolled out across the globe, the coming year is looking decidely less gloomy and although the pandemic has cast a shadow over the world, there have been moments of light. 

Here are 10 uplifting stories from The New Arab this year:  1. Sudan ratifies law criminalising female genital mutilation Sudan's ruling body ratified a law banning the widespread practice of female genital mutilation, handing the movement for women’s rights in the African country a long-sought victory. Read the full article  here . 2. Turkish imam turns mosque into 'supermarket for poor' amid coronavirus pandemic Read the full article here . 3. Syrian documentary film For Sama wins Emmy International Award Syrian filmmaker Waad al-Kateab has won an Emmy international award for her critically-acclaimed documentary film For Sama  in November this year. Read the full article here . 4. Eleven-year-old Gaza school boy goes viral for rapping skills An 11-year-old Gazan boy made waves online after he covered a rap about Palestine in August this year. Abdul Rahman Read the full article here . 5. Here's how a former WhatsApp group evolved into leading the global appeal for Beirut Diana Abbas, a Lebanese community organiser in London, was one of thousands in the Lebanese Diaspora who watched the Beirut explosion with utter horror far from Beirut. Read the full article here . 6. Ultra-rare Saharan cheetah spotted in Algeria for first time in years Algerian conservationists announced in May the sighting of the critically endangered Saharan cheetah following months-long research efforts in the Ahaggar National Park in the country's mountainous south. Read the full article here . 7. Harper’s Bazaar appoints first black Arab Editor-in-Chief  US-based American fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar made history after it appointed its first Arab woman of colour as its Editor-in-Chief.

Samira Nasr is a Canadian editor born to a Lebanese father and a Trinidadian mother, and in her first speech as EiC, she emphasised the importance of representation and Black Lives Matter. Read the full article here . 8. Algerian rapper Soolking raises tens of thousands for coronavirus healthcare workers French-Algerian rapper 'Soolking' launched a fundraising initiative in time for Ramadan in an effort to support healthcare workers in Algeria working during the coronavirus pandemic. Read the full article here . 9. Turkish man hosts seven stranded travellers during coronavirus lockdown A Turkish man came to the rescue of seven tourist stranded in the country as it went into coronavirus lockdown in April, hosting them in his home for two weeks. Read more: The Middle East's top films and TV series of 2020 Read the full article here . 10. Egyptian-American comedy star Ramy Youssef wins Golden Globe Egyptian-American comedian Ramy Youssef picked up a Golden Globe award in Januart, thanking God in his acceptance speech. Read the full article here .

2020-12-31 | News | English |