Five more sleeps to New Year's Eve. Can't wait for you, 2019
The year 2018 has been a mixed bag, with some huge achievements and some terrible experiences.
Think 2018 was a bad year? What, you don't remember annus horribilis 2008, the year that saw a global economic earthquake that buried some of the world's most revered names in international finance? How's that for some perspective! Seriously, though, we know that there are five more sleeps to go (assuming you won't go off to sleep on the 31st before welcoming the New Year), but we just can't wait for this year to end and 2019 to herald new beginnings.
To be honest, though, this year has been a mixed bag. We've seen some huge achievements at the global and local scale: women in Saudi can now take the wheel while Imran Khan got to be in the driver's seat in Pakistan; a commoner became a princess when Harry wed Meghan even as a fairy-tale ending saw the Thai teen soccer team rescued after 17 days in a water-logged cave. Then again, some terrible things happened, too, including the floods in Kerala and the tsunami volcano in Indonesia; Facebook betrayed our trust yet again while chemical attacks in Syria continued to claim civilian lives.
The year 2018 gave us hope, too: America's Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-un shook hands in Singapore; Britain's Theresa May stood her ground in the face of Brexit brickbats; Iraqi-Yazidi human rights activist Nadia Murad won the Nobel Peace Prize while a ceasefire continues in Yemen (fingers-crossed). Locally, we've seen the implementation of the value-added tax while amnesty has given hopes to thousands; Louvre Abu Dhabi opened its doors to the world while Sridevi's untimely death in Dubai left her fans devastated.
I hope you've been tracking the year-ender that Khaleej Times has been running on its pages. Today's the fifth instalment of that package (see pages 20-26 covering the personalities who left us this year), with another five to go over the next as many days. Relive with us the year that is about to get over, and let's get ready for the one that we wish brings with it more hope, better health and a wealth of happiness.