Of the main arguments people use to discredit social media, the feeling of coming across too much negativity when scrolling through your feed is amongst some of the most recurrent ones. When logging onto Twitter, Instagram, or whatever platform you prefer, more often than not, you’re confronted with a constant stream of unattainable beauty standards, too-cool-to-be-true-content from friends and influencers that choose to sugarcoat their dull routines with carefully curated stories, as well as general news, which is usually quite grim.
Navigating life as a 20-something-year-old in 2023 isn’t the easiest task to complete. In our two-decades-or-so of existence, we’ve seen more than one war break out, a deadly pandemic take over the world, a revolution topple most governments in our region, as well as two economic crises cripple our wallets and what’s left of our savings. And this is just the tip of a much larger and bleaker iceberg, where hardships and hurdles have become weekly occurrences rather than exceptions, stripping any kind of hope for better times ahead away from a whole generation.
Given how exposed we are to the harsh realities of our world, it should come as no real surprise to learn that a recent study, led by The Arab Youth Survey, found that around 200 million young Arabs live with addiction, anxiety, and depression proving how affected we are by our surroundings.
“The Arab population is plagued by issues that are no different from any other population in the world: Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addiction, suicide, self-mutilation, post-traumatic disorders, mood disorders, and so on,” Fadwa Lkorchy, a psychologist at the Dubai-based German Neuroscience Center, told Arab News in 2019 before explaining that the difference between the Middle East and other parts of the world relies upon our tendency to be reluctant to address the given issue.
As you can probably imagine, social media definitely has something to do with it. If not put in front of the difficulties you and your peers are facing, odds are that you’ll be put in front of those happening past your geographical borders, turning towards escapism as one of the only solutions that will brighten your day. If traveling is still not an option for many (we blame Visa restrictions for that) we’ve taken it upon ourselves to serve you with a roundup of some good news since the new year kicked off.
As the first month of 2023 draws to a close, it’s important to remember that amidst the challenges and difficulties we’re facing, there have also been many positive developments and heartening headlines. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of six uplifting stories that have emerged since the start of the year, serving as a reminder that despite the negativity that can often dominate our daily lives, there is always hope and progress to be found.
Breast cancer vaccines pass first human trials
Researchers at the University of Washington’s Department of Medicine have made a significant breakthrough in their quest to find a cure for breast cancer. The team, who had been working on the project for 20-years, just announced that the results of the first phase of human trials were conclusive, indicating that a potential vaccine for breast cancer may be on the horizon. Hurray!
Increase in Arab representation in the fashion industry
The Fall 2023 Menswear shows in Paris saw a slew of nods and references to the Arab world, putting our region at the closest as you can be to one of the world’s most important and followed events. From Rosalia and models vibing out to Basbous 3ashek besa on Louis Vuitton’s Paris Fashion Week runway to Casablanca’s sartorial tribute to Syria, this season was a chockfull of references to the Arab World we can only stan.
Uganda declares end of Ebola outbreak
Ugandan officials announced the end of the Ebola pandemic during a public event held on Wednesday. This declaration was made after no new cases were reported for a consecutive period of 42 days. As per the World Health Organization’s (WHO) protocol, an outbreak is considered to have come to a close if there are no new cases for twice the incubation period, which was the case for the first time since the discovery of the disease.
Sony reveals first accessible controller
Mere weeks ago, Sony unveiled a customizable controller kit for its PlayStation 5, dubbed “Project Leonardo,” during CES 2023 in Las Vegas, a can’t-miss event for those involved with the tech industry. The round-shaped controller is designed to be able to lie flat on a tabletop or wheelchair tray, in an effort to improve accessibility for players with disabilities in the gaming world.
Mexico elects first female chief justice
Earlier this month, Mexico’s Supreme Court made history by appointing its first female chief justice ever. On Jan. 2, Norma Lucia Pina was officially sworn in for a four-year term as head of 11 other panel members where she pledged to uphold the autonomy of the nation’s highest and largest judicial body during her time in office.
The ozone layer is on track to recover
In May 1985, scientific experts discovered a hole in the ozone layer, identifying the use of certain products, such as chlorofluorocarbons, used in spray cans and refrigerators, as the main substances to blame. In response to this discovery, international bodies established the Montreal Protocol in 1987, aiming to phase out almost 100 synthetic chemicals from industrial circulation.
According to a recent report by a UN-backed panel, nearly 99% of these banned substances have gone out of use, meaning that the ozone layer could expectedly recover to its 1980 levels by 2040.