Throughout the year, we saw a lot of smombies* walk the streets and sit at the breakfast tables in hotels, or conducting themselves antisocial in resting places for the employees.
* Smombies: Plural form of the fairly new Flemish and Dutch word ‘smombie’ denoting people who have their focus as zombies only on their smartphone (and no longer look where they are going)
But only awake in bed already started many young people already on their smartphone, i-phone, i-pad or tablet to sift through their Facebook account to see how the world and their pseudo “friends” were doing. Still not fully awake, they got a lot of pictures served as an aperitif. Before breakfast, all kinds of images were viewed which should not shock the world or be part of the greatest horror going on.
2015 may be the year where social media also have taken the news on television. In the past, for the news people had to await for the capture vehicles and the cameras of the television crews coming and being set ready before being able to follow the events at the scene. But now all and sundry does have some camera (on his mobile phone or tablet) to establish the facts on the digital media immediately during the event.
So the whole world can immediately see what went on at the time of the fearful event in Paris or Nepal. Shrieking people and many who saw the face of death were recorded on tiny screens to be viewed later in millions of homes, sometimes with open mouth and bewilderment.
Because 2015 may also go down in history as the year of bewilderment. That which seemed impossible or that which no one thought would never happen in their regions, appeared to be harsh reality.
Dumbfounded, we could all through the year, determining the madness ever ongoing war on this planet and the great confusion that prevailed each time in the frequent attacks that demanded honour to gain first place in the media.
Several times in the year there was an attempt to silence people. We noticed over the world thousands of deaths. They obtained great attention and all the smear campaign around them surpassed the millions of fatalities where no cat crows. Also, most people did not get to see the many thousands of victims of serious life threatening diseases. It was allowed to cancer to receive much media attention and it must be said that they began to pay more attention in 2015 to life-threatening diseases of affluence with diabetes high on the list adorned alongside by obesity. Obesity is a leading preventable cause of death worldwide, with increasing rates in adults and children. Authorities view it as one of the most serious public health problems of the 21st century.
But the more than fat people world had to watch how the emaciated world was sent from Jut to Jar and how they had to swim through waters and had to slog through the mud to see, in the autumn months, close more borders with meter high barricades of barbed wire, even if they were in the Schengen area.
On the way, masses of refugees lost family members. The youngest as first victims. But it took until the image of a toddler, who was lying lifeless on the beach while the water body ‘stroked’ him, before the folks in the street woke up.
It took until September before people could be emotionally touched and go a little further thinking about the suffering refugees gets.
On Wednesday, September 2nd namely, a washed up dead boy became the face of all boat people trying to reach Europe. A photographer saw the toddler. First on his belly in the surf at Bodrum in Turkey, with a red T-shirt, shorts and little shoes. Then in the arms of a rescuer. The photographs were all over the world.
Children are often the face of the suffering of war, hunger and violence.
Daily small Aylans die in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Palestine, Sudan and other African countries, but in the West there will be no one to mourn. Only when the world is shaken by an ‘exciting’ or ‘catchy’ image, the westerner gets up and some come to react.
But in this time regularly critical voices are uttered, questioning what is presented in the media and wondering if some images are not orchestrated.
This washed ashore boy of whom so quickly other photos emerged, is reminiscent of an earlier touching picture which shocked the world and suddenly got people support the suffering in Sudan in 1993. The child, emaciated lying on the ground, face down, visible ribs, then became an icon. Besides the baby is a vulture. It became a symbol of famine in Africa. The South African photojournalist, Kevin Carter committed suicide a year after the photo. All the suffering he had seen, he could not bear any more. That famine did not yet come to an end. Although we are more than 20 years later, this remains a scourge on the African continent, because of the many tribal wars, and to a lesser extent by the drought.
The French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo which was last year and in January literally under fire, was not shy to print a billboard of a McDonalds in a cartoon around the little Aylan that reads:
‘Two children menu’s for the price of one. “
The magazine which one can not call specific Christian and formerly figuratively took the church a lot under fire, scoffed again with Aylans religion, entitled
“Prove that Europe is Christian.”
It shows an image that some Europeans make take for Jesus with the words
“Christians walk on water”
and the boy in the sea with the caption
“Muslim children sink”.
Drawn by Laurent ‘Riss’ Sourisseau the cartoons are a damning indictment of the ‘anti-refugee sentiment’ that there is, according Maajid Nawaz, founder of the London-based British anti-Islamist think tank Quilliam, writing on Facebook
“The McDonald’s image has criticized European heartless consumerism in the face of one of the worst human tragedies of our time.” (NSK)
Bart De Wever is one of the people to confess that the photo of the dead toddler hit him too.
“But I hook rationally off as an emotional pressure agent is to advocate for a European policy of open borders. I let myself not to be talked into a guilty feeling because I do not find it such a good idea.”
For him and his party members it is beyond doubt that a person is a war refugee until he crosses a boundary where he no longer has to fear for his life. He adds:
“For a Syrian that is the Turkish border. If you are travelling to Western Europe, than you are an economic refugee. That kid did not die because his parents were fleeing violence. It died because his parents went looking for a better life.”
Unfortunately, many children are drawn into the adventure of their parents, looking for that better life, which ended very tragically for many.
The terrorist group Islamic State in February published a video showing the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians. In the video, the executioner declares that IS stands south of Rome. In response to this video Egypt bombed different IS targets in Libya. A month later more than 20 deaths fell in an attack on the Bardo Museum in the Tunisian capital Tunis and in a double attack on two Shiite mosques in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, more than 140 people dead.
On the same day, on 26 June, that a suicide attacker perpetrated Kuwait in the name of Islamic State, on a beach in the city of Sousse, in Tunisia, also an attack was committed costing the lives of at least 37 people.
On October 31, going from Sharm-el-Sheikh (Sharm al-Shaykh) to Saint Petersburg an Airbus A321 of the Russian airline Kogalymavia with flight number 9268 crashed on the Egyptian Sinai Peninsula, as a result of a bomb attack. In the crash, all 224 passengers died. President Putin announced a day of national mourning. After a severe decrease of passengers due to the aforementioned incident and the security situation at its primary leisure destinations in Egypt Metrojet suspended all remaining operations from December 5 onwards. It announced to review all operations and might resume services in summer 2016.
Since the attacks in London on July 7, 2005 in November, Europe will be hard hit by terror attacks by IS faithfuls. On 13 November, six conducted bombings in Paris resulted in more than 130 deaths and more than 200 people injured.
Besides the fighting, which continued violently in Syria, this year there were also many innocent victims by gun-toting citizens whose possession of weapons could not be limited by the state leader. Even though there were more deaths caused by weapons of their fellow Americans Donald Trump tried the Americans to believe that the aliens and Islamic believers were the ones they should have to fear.
On the evening of June 17, a white male named Dylann Roof asked to join a Bible study group in the traditional black Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC.. Roof opened fire at the meeting and killed nine people, including a state senator. Later he said that he carried out the attack to provoke a race war. Photos of Roof who posed with the Confederate battle flag led to a widespread movement against the display of the flag and culminating in the removal of the flag of a monument on the South Carolina State Capitol building.
In a shooting incident at a care center in the US city of San Bernardino, California 14 were killed and 21 wounded. The American perpetrators of the shooting, a Pakistani-born lawful permanent resident of the United States and his wife fled in a rented sport utility vehicle (SUV) and was four hours later slain by police. President Barack Obama called the shooting an act of terrorism. Terror group claims the IS assessment.
Carelessness of people also brings more than 120 people to death and delivers more than 700 wounded by two explosions in the port of Tianjin on August 12th. Ten days later a Hawker Hunter aircraft at a show in England ended the life of seven people.
An earthquake, also known as the Gorkha earthquake, measuring 7.9 hit Nepal on Saturday, April 25th, the country and again on Tuesday, May 12th by a quake with a magnitude of 7.4 and on May 17 again, this time with a magnitude of 5.7 on the Scale Richter. 9,000 people lost their life and more than 23,000 were seriously injured.
The earthquake triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest, killing at least 19 making April 25, 2015 the deadliest day on the mountain in history.
The quake was also an economic disaster with 191 058 homes destroyed and another 174 162 damaged houses. The government took into account that the number of destroyed homes could reach 500,000. Because of the damage to crops and the fact that in many affected areas could not be properly harvested the anticipated wheat production in Nepal for 2015 came in danger.
Historian Prushottam Lochan Shrestha stated,
By floods in northeast India 200 000 people are forced to leave their house and also several residents in the area drowned.
Britain badly enough, this year once again got in the news with severe flooding. The population wondered again what the government is going to do against this situation of regular floodings. Northwest England, especially north of Manchester and Yorkshire are the worst affected. Thousands of people in several areas across England and Scotland had for several days to leave their homes because of heavy flooding. Among others, the Irwell and Ribble have come far beyond their shores.On December 27 it was the third time in just one month that in this area there was severe flooding.
That the implementation of a faith can be deadly, encountered many pilgrims in Saudi Arabia during the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, an unprecedented number died by oppression (official sources only talking about a 700 while foreign organizations speak of more than 2000) .
Preceding: Summary for the year 2015 #1 Threat and fear
Dutch version / Nederlandse versie: Overzicht voor het jaar 2015 #2 Bezaaid met lijken en vluchtelingen
- African misery and women inequality
- Paris attacks darkning the world
- Bringing into safety from Iraq and Iran
- Review of Al-Qaeda: The Transformation of Terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa – Dr. Moshe Terdiman
- Year in review: Our Top Ten Conspiracies of 2015
- Egypt’s Foreign Policy in 2015: Taking Stock and Moving Forward…
- New year old wish
- Disaster diary – December 31, 2015
- Stories You Missed in 2015
- Islamic State leader killed in air strike was close to Paris attacker: mayor
- Fall of the Arab Spring: From Revolution to Destruction
- Gunmen shut Yemen university’s faculties for gender mixing
- Kuwait to Provide to Ground Troops and Bahrain Acknowledges Death of Two Military Officers in Yemen
- Kuwait To Send Ground Troops To Join Saudi War In Yemen
- What shall Be
- Yemen peace deal elusive but rivals will meet again
- Midwest facing massive floods: Worse seen in 20 years
- Gov. Bryant issues State of Emergency due to Mississippi River flooding
- Missouri Assesses Damage as Floodwaters Recede
- Several levees monitored in Missouri; death toll rises to 20
- Iowa National Guard called to help with flood efforts in Missouri
- Local family deals with Missouri flooding
- Illinois peeps, check out – St. Louis Area Surveys Toll as Flood Risk Shifts South
- 19 states under flood warnings as communities brace for record floods
- At the Crossroads – Lessons from 2015 as we welcome 2016 (Part 1)
- The Decade When It Rained, And Rained, And Rained
- Storm Frank, floods, politics and the future of catchment management
- Storm Frank comes close to home
- Well Prepared
- Floods In York. (UK)
- Devastating Yorkshire Floods – 1930
- EU referendum: the press, the floods and the narrative.
- Seeking useful information
- Bus in the flood
- The Calder Valley’s History Of Flooding
- Calderdale floods – how to help
- Not the ideal home?
- Here and Now
- To be perfectly Frank
- Will Merseyrail Rescue Croston?
- Bishop Paul Colton Visits Flooded Areas and Calls For Support from Parishes, and Renewed and Coordinated National Determination to Address the Issue of Flood Defence Works
- ‘You have every right to be angry,’ Jeremy Corbyn tells York’s flood-affected residents
- Holding back the flood
- Homes Evacuated In Scotland
- Bloody insurance companies
- My views on the main environmental news as 2015 ends
- Doomed. We’re All Doomed, I Tell You
- Smartphones change the way consumers shop – have you adapted? (bigcommerce.com)
- Twitter: Ruling the Social Planet? (digitalsurgeons.com)
- Norway: Hundreds of migrants had phones with images of executions, severed heads & dead children, police reveal (freenorthcarolina.blogspot.com)
- No Cell Signal? This Can Help (wsj.com)
- global gadget growth trends : 2015 to 2020 (onlinemarketing-trends.com)