Highlights of the Events that Shook the World in 2020

It will not be easy to forget the unprecedented events of 2020. Especially the spread of the coronavirus epidemic, which has killed nearly two million people, and turned people’s habits upside down. The spread of the deadly coronavirus changed lots of lives and weakened countries across the world, economically and socially. That will be remembered for generations to come. Although this event is the highlight of the year, it was not the only one. In this article, we are spotting the light on a number of the most highlighted events that occurred in 2020.

Death of Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah

Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah died on September 29 at the age of 91. Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah who aged 83 years has taken is his place as the emir of Kuwait.

Global quarantine

The entire world was forced to stay in quarantine since early February. And to limit their movements as much as possible to limit the spread of COVID-19 and relieve pressure on hospitals. According to AFP statistics, more than 3,9 billion people, equivalent to 1/2 of the population of the earth, were forced to submit to quarantine or asked to do so.

China, specifically the city of Wuhan, the origin of the epidemic, was the first to quarantine its residents on February 17. The decision seemed strange at first before dozens of countries followed China a few weeks later.

From Tokyo to New York, passing by Berlin or Johannesburg, the entire planet gradually began to apply quarantine measures. Most companies closed their doors as well as schools and cultural places. Depriving thousands of people of doing their daily activities, working, and pursuing their study online.

Coronavirus has caused deaths estimated by 1,685,785 people since its appearance in China in December last year, according to official sources told by the AFP as of Sunday, December 20.

As the number of infections decreased in early summer, countries began to gradually pursuit their activity. Yet there are signs of a second wave that haven’t taken long to appear, which began to be monitored as autumn entered.

Normalization with Israel

Israel’s relationship with several Arab countries has evolved in no time since last August when the UAE announced a “historic peace agreement” with Tel Aviv under U.S. sponsorship.

The UAE stated that the agreement provides for “the cessation of Israel’s annexation of Palestinian territory”. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the annexation was only “postponed”. The Palestinians called the agreement a betrayal.”

On 18 October, Israel and Bahrain signed in Manama an agreement to establish full diplomatic relations between the two countries and seven memorandums of understanding. 

On October 23, Trump announced the normalization of relations between Israel and Sudan, stating that the two countries have achieved “peace”.

November the 23rd, news reported that Netanyahu made an unprecedented visit to Saudi Arabia. Also, held secret talks with Prince Mohammed bin Salman. But the Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan denied on Twitter that there had been any meetings between the prince and the Israeli Prime Minister.

On December 10, Trump announced that Morocco had promised to normalize relations with Israel. And for exchange, the United States declared the Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed Western desert.

The death of George Floyd

On May 25, George Floyd, a 40-year-old black American, died of asphyxiation in Minneapolis. After staying for long minutes under the knee of a white policeman. His images of him saying “I can’t breathe” sparked demonstrations of unprecedented size since the 1960s. People demanded reforms against police violence and put an end to racial inequality under the slogan “Black Lives Matter”.

Beirut port explosion

On 4 August, a massive explosion at Beirut’s port, killing hundreds, injuring thousands, and leaving thousands homeless. The explosion due to 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate that had been stored for six years in a warehouse at the port.

Seismologists measured the pressure of the explosion, which knocked out windows at Beirut International Airport nine kilometers (more than five miles) away, equivalent to a 3.3-magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale.

Ceasefire in Western Sahara collapses after 29 years

The ceasefire between Morocco and the Polisar fighters ended on 16 October. Following clashes between the two sides along the 2,700-kilometre barriers separating them in the Western desert. The UN-sponsored ceasefire agreement between the two parties, which has stood for nearly thirty years, dates back to September 1991.

In December, following Morocco’s King Mohammed VI’s announcement of the resumption of relations with Israel, U.S. President Donald Trump declared Morocco’s sovereignty over the Western desert. In this context, the UN stated that it would not “change its position” while Polisario expressed its “deeply sorry” over the US decision.

 Donald Trump’s defeat in US presidential elections.

This year also saw the defeat of the Republican President Donald Trump in the presidential election to his Democratic rival Joe Biden. The US electorate on 14 December confirmed the results, in which Trump still refuses to admit his defeat.

Trump was widely criticized during his presidency of the United States that began in 2017. Particularly following his decision to ban entry into U.S. soil of citizens of six Muslim-majority countries for security concerns.