The year 2009 was dominated by some political and non-political issues of grave importance that captured instant and prolonged global attention. Below is the list:
1. Iran Elections and Protests
The Presidential elections that took place after some thirty years of Islamic Revolution in Iran sparked protests and marches that left a deep mark on the political year in Iran. As the victory of Ahmedinejad was declared, millions poured out onto the streets to protests against the apparent manipulation of the voting process; all these protestors became members of what will be remembered in the History as the Green Revolution or ‘Persian Awakening’ (and even the Twitter Revolution). As the government blocked social networking sites and text messaging to keep the public opinion from being globally known, the Iranian masses used Twitter to convey the scope, casualties and causes of the protests. However, despite having shaken the world, the revolution brought more causalities than actual changes in the system as the government forcefully put an end to it.
2. Michael Jackson’s Death
The ‘King of Pop’ died in the summer of 2009 and left behind millions in mourning. Michael Jackson, aged 50, was all set to take London by storm with his concert tour “This is It” rehearsing his all-time best-selling hits like “Billie Jean”. It was during one of these rehearsals that he complained of laryngitis; the next day he was found with a very weak pulse in his mansion in California; as paramedics rushed in to revive Jackson, he died of cardiac arrest. Many suspect foul-play in the shocking death of a star who had the perhaps the biggest fan-following in the history of the music industry. A figure often surrounded by both mystery and controversy, Jackson’s music broke its own previous best-selling records, jammed internet-traffic and brought to street thousands and they came to bid farewell to a star that took an entire generation of music with him.
3. Tiger Woods Scandal
2008’s Highest paid star Tiger Woods faced immense criticism in face of the stories that came forward post a car accident that he was involved in. As Tiger Woods fled home after having a fight with his Swedish wife, his car hit a tree, making a tabloid story that was followed by the uncovering of a grave and deeply shameful scandal frofor the athlete as more than 10 women came forward, all waitresses and club hostesses, to declare that they were involved with Woods in extra-marital affairs. Woods, still rated as the top-athlete of the year, is a deeply revered golfer, a handsome, simple-looking man, an endorser of many major brands and this ‘bad-boy’ story has done much damage to his reputation. And it has brought in millions and millions for the tabloids reporting it!
4. Obama’s Oath and Message to the Muslim World
Heralded as an agent for peace and change, Obama was sworn into the office of American Presidency early in 2009. By using his middle name Hussein in the oath-taking ceremony, President Obama was seen as sending out a message to the Muslim world, a message for a new period of cooperation, peace, and understanding. The oath was in later months followed by the famous speech in Cairo, Egypt when he cited that the differences that drive us part are weaker than the humanity that binds us together and extended a hand of friendship towards the Muslim world, visiting major Islamic countries. This ‘change’ revolution, starting from Obama’s campaign to his speech in Egypt, became a most-followed piece of news of the year as all around the word people clung to every word and promise of the President who vowed he’d fix the wrongs.
5. Obama’s Afghanistan-Pakistan Policy
The ‘agent of change’ came under much criticism with regards to his policy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. When campaigning for his presidential candidacy, Obama had vehemently opposed the American war in Iraq and Afghanistan, condemning the foreign policy adopted by the Republican government of George W. Bush. As he appeared on television screens to announce sending 30, 000 more troops to Afghanistan and increased military operations in Pakistan, the global media and viewers alike condemned the act, labeling the Democratic regime as a mere change of face in the American system.
6. Copenhagen Climate Summit
Hailed as the year of “Climate SOS” by Al-Jazeera News Network, The Copenhagen summit on climate brought together key players and key countries who are seen as major contributors to the global climate crisis. As China and America took the frontlines with aggressive debates about who contributes the most to the global environment-degradation and policies and strategies were put forward and failed to be delivered at this much looked-forward summit, it attracted worldwide attention. There were highest sort of expectations that the summit will bring forth policies that the countries could put in action to work cooperatively towards reversing a climate disaster but so far there has been little progress.
7. Dubai Economic Crisis
The global recession that has shaken the world took another blow at the Bubble that Dubai is. Earlier this year and even in the last year there have been frequent reports of job-losses and slow growth in Dubai; later in 2009, as the stock market plunged and Dubai pleaded with the rich neighbor Abu Dhabi to help it out. The debt-crisis of the state-owned investment flagship that ‘Dubai World’ was plunged the stock market that was one of the healthier ones in the world and affected many a global investment and other business decisions as the stakeholders panicked.
8. American Stance on Nuclear Arsenal
As Obama said that it was time to rid the world of nuclear weapons, his Defence secretary Robert states disagreed with him starting a debate that consumed much attention. America’s own involvement in production of nukes and the parallel condemnation of Iran for continuing with its highly ambitious Nuclear Program formed the basis for one of the most heated debates on all political fronts.
9. Korea and its Nuclear Weapons
Debates on nuclear weapons and condemnation of global nuclear programs dominated the issues of 2009; all this time, Korea invited increased international isolation s it continued to test nuclear weapons reported as being ‘as powerful as Hiroshima’ by The Guardian. It failed to pacify international concerns and became, after Iran, the second most criticized country for its nuclear weapon strategy. Icing on the cake came with the underground nuclear explosions that produced minor tremors similar to earthquakes in the regions.
10. Rio De Janeiro awarded the 2016 Olympics host
Rio De Janeiro was nominated to be the Brazilian host for Summer Olympics 2016. The Federal government was extremely supportive of this candidacy, claiming it was the right spot for the event. Jubilations burst out on the streets as many gathered to hear the announcement. Many like Madrid and Jordan had hoped to be awarded the honour and the announcement brought forth criticism from various ends. Even Obama, on his way back from Copenhagen, said he was disappointed with the choice but still supported it. There had been immense speculation as fans and candidate cities eagerly waited for the results.