From Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Mahsa Amini: Those who grabbed headlines in 2022

It has been a grim year dominated by war, crisis, and protests. There are several who made headlines for scripting history; some for not-so-good reasons. As 2022 closes to an end, we take a look back at the newsmakers who had our attention.

If there is one real hero to be picked for the year, it is undoubtedly Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The president was also TIME magazine’s 2022 Person of the Year.

The Ukrainian leader was little known before Russia invaded his country on 26 February. Today, he has left the world inspired as his country continues to fight the mighty Russian military.

Mahsa Amini was a regular 22-year-old who was visiting Tehran with her family. But she caught the attention of Iran’s morality police for “incorrectly” wearing the hijab. She was detained and kept in custody for three days, where she reportedly died of a heart attack.

Amini’s death led to unprecedented anti-hijab protests in the country. Women and students poured on to the streets. Many took off their hijabs and chopped off their hair. The demonstrations spread to other parts of the world. Four months after Amini’s death, Iran continues to raise its voice.

Elon Musk’s overleveraged acquisition of Twitter in October created high-voltage drama in the tech industry.  The Tesla owner initiated the $44 billion deal to introduce “absolute free speech”. However, after facing resistance from the company he decided to step back, citing “fake handles” as the reason, only to be forced by the social media firm to go through the deal again.

Since then he has been hitting headlines with his antics — introducing major policy changes, initiating mass layoffs, reinstating previously banned users, suspending user accounts, releasing “Twitter Files,” auctioning office items, and more.

Lionel Messi played a big role in making sure that Argentina takes home the FIFA World Cup 2022 after playing what has been dubbed as the “best final ever”. His team was up again France. He scored twice for Argentina as they played out a 3-3 draw over 120 absorbing minutes. 

He was spot on during the penalty shoot-out after which the score settled at 4-2. He lifted the trophy and become the only player to win two Golden Balls (best player of the tournament in 2014 and 2022) and broke many a record.

It has been a year of political chaos in the UK as it witnessed three prime ministers – Boris Johnson, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak – in two months, the fifth in six years. During her short 45 days tenure in the office, Truss was criticised for her mini-Budget which left the currency tumbling. This catapulted Indian-origin Rishi Sunak to the top.

He went on to become the first non-white prime minister of the UK. However, he has a daunting task ahead of him. He has to steer the economy at a time of its worst crisis; he has to instill faith in the public that the Conservative Party has what it takes.