The New Arab's Most Important Stories from 2020

A Watershed Year: The New Arab's Most Important Stories from 2020
8 min read
31 December, 2020
A retrospective of our coverage of 2020's leading stories
Since 2015, The New Arab newsroom has been used to covering rapidly shifting events, involving a dizzying number of actors. Many of these stories have been tragic, especially the Syrian refugee crisis that peaked in 2016. 

But even so, 2020 has been a year like no other, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Like most people around the world, our newsroom shifted to working from home, as our journalists and contributors grappled with the impact of the deadly virus.

2020 has also had its fair share of major, history-altering events, culminating with the defeat of Donald Trump in the US election, which signalled the beginning of the end of the global populist wave.

Below we have curated our top political stories from every month of 2020, as a retrospective of the last year of the second decade of the millennium. 

  January: US-Iran Tensions and Trump's Deal of the Century  
Tensions caused by the US 'maximum pressure' policy against Iran in place since Donald Trump reneged on the 2015 nuclear deal came to a dangerous head when a US-operated drone assassinated Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, the architect of Iran's foreign operations, on January 3. As the world held its breath and anticipated war in the region, Iran carried out a limited response, striking a US airbase in Iraq. However, amid heightened tensions, Iranian air defence units shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet shortly after taking off from Tehran's main airport, killing everyone on board. Towards the end of the month, Trump unveiled his 'Deal of the Century' plan for peace in the Middle East, which was rejected by Palestinians for its bias in favour of Israel.

The significance of Qasem Soleimani’s assassination
The significance of Qasem Soleimani’s assassination