2011 - Full of events
The Arab Spring/Uprising
The Arab uprising can easily be the first on the list of top events in 2011. Revolutions or massive protests were predicted in many countries in the Middle East as the levels of corruption and dictatorship reached unprecedented levels. It all began in Tunisia were Mohamed Bouazizi, a street vendor sat himself on fire in December 2010 after municipal police forces confiscated his merchandise and humiliated him. This started huge protests and riots throughout Tunisia demanding democracy and social justice that ended with President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to resign after 23 years and flying to Saudi Arabia.
Yemen and Syria followed later but are still struggling until the time of writing this article (Nov 2011) after months of violent protests and clashed between civilian protesters and police and army forces. The Libyan revolution wasn't all peaceful as the Libyan president Colonel Muammar al Qaddafi has turned it into a civil war after his forces confronted violently with protests leading to conflicts and many of the Libyan army soldiers and leader joining the protests that developed into a rebellion later on. Muammar Qaddafi was killed on the 20th October 2011 after many violent battles with the revolutionaries.
The world's population reaches 7 billion
According to the UN estimations, the world's population has reached 7 billion people on October 31, 2011. In 1999, the world reached a population of 6 billion.
The death of Osama Bin Laden
On the 2nd of May, U.S. president Barack Obama announced that Bin Laden, head of Al-Qaeda was killed in Operation Neptune Spear by the U.S. special forces in Pakistan, he was buried later in the sea. Al-Qaeda confirmed the news and promised to take revenge.
The news was welcomed by the majority of the western public opinion and governments. Amnesty International has questioned the ethical aspect of the operation and why he wasn't captured alive. The U.S. and its allies had tried to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden multiple times before that, as during 2001 when he was thought to be hiding in the mountains of Tora Bora.
Japan earthquake and tsunami
The spread of Occupy Wall street (OWS) movements
Started in New York City on September 17, 2011 by activist group Adbusters in the U.S. to protest social and economic inequality and spread to many cities in the U.S. and to more than 900 cities all over the world after that.
The protesters used the slogan "We Are The 99%" to imply the concentration of wealth in 1% of the U.S. population. The "Occupy" protests spread worldwide to Sydney, Birsbane, Vienna, Brussels, Toronto, Berlin, Rome, Auckland, New Plymouth, Dublin, Prague, London, Warsaw and many other cities.
Gilad Shalit prisoner swap deal
In 2011, Israel and Hamas reached an agreement to swap the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit with 1027 Palestinian prisoners on two phases. The deal was signed in Egypt on 11 October 2011. This is the biggest prisoner exchange Israel has done till now. Shalit was imprisoned for about 5 years.
The separation of South Sudan
South Sudan was separated from Sudan on July 9 201 after a referendum that took place on January (The Independence Referendum). 98.83% voted for independence from Sudan.
It is believed to be one of the most watched event in history, the wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London on 29 April 2011. It was estimated that about 2 billion people worldwide have watched the celebrations,the wedding, and the kiss the number may be inaccurate but we know for sure that millions of people watched the wedding on TV or online. After the wedding, Catherine has become Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge.
Also, in 2011, Queen Elizabeth II became the 2nd longest-reigning British Monarch with 59 years as queen.