“And now we welcome the New Year. Full of things that have never been.”

–Rainer Maria Rilke

Milestones were achieved in 2016 when Taiwan elected its first ever female President, Tsai Ing-Wen. Italy became one of the few remaining western countries to recognise the basic rights for the gay community and legalise marriage. Britain displayed its flourishing democracy with the referendum to leave the European Union resulting in the resignation of David Cameron due to a clash in belief between the public and himself. Similarly, Italy’s referendum of a constitutional reform to change the power held by the parliament, considered as the most extensive reform since the abolishment of the monarchy, was denied leading the Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi to resign as well. The most popular and shocking, however, was when Donald trump took stage in New York to deliver his victory speech after the toughly contested elections of the United States.

2016 was also a year of great tragedies; the fact that the fifth anniversary of the uprising that led to the civil war is Syria in March was truly appalling as the world saw its effects through videos of children stunned by their environment, men and women crying over their lost ones and the circumstances they are forced to live in. The major attacks in places like the Brussels Airport and Orlando’s night club leaving over a hundred people dead in both incidences. A 7.9 magnitude earthquake killed around 232 people in Ecuador along with the occurrence of snow in the Sahara Desert for the first time since 1979 showing great changes in the climate.

These are just some of the few key events that took place in the previous year that both pleased and displeased the entire world. As we start our new year however, we must do so with renewed hope and excitement of what it brings for us. Hard work in the direction of a positive future must be an aim of every individual.