So 2014 is coming to an end. What have we learnt this year?
We’ve learnt a number of words – ISIS, Yazidis, Boko Haram, #bringbackourgirls (and most recently #sydneysiege #PeshawarAttack) that fill us with sadness and fear.
We’ve learnt that the world is not always the place of safety that we would like it to be for everyone and anyone, regardless of race, religion, nationality, ethnicity, sexuality, gender or background.
We’ve learnt that there seems to be an unlimited amount of war that can be fought in the name of hatred, an unlimited depth for people to sink to (the last two weeks have proved this to us through the Peshawar school attack), and a seemingly unlimited amount of persecution in the world.
And yet with 2015 comes a new dawn; a new year and a new start, with new things to learn. Because although the world in 2014 has seemed so cruel, the goodness of people still shines through.
For example, to combat Islamophobia in the wake of the Sydney cafe siege, the hashtag #IllRideWithYou showed solidarity with Australian Muslims in the hope that they would feel safe and not fear retribution for the actions of one man.
To show the Taliban that they cannot halt the march of female empowerment, Malala Yousafzai continued calling for worldwide access to education, culminating in her co-winning the Nobel Peace Prize this year.
And, finally, in GMA’s native Scotland, equal marriage became legal on 16 December 2014, meaning a gay person now has the same right to marry the one they love as a heterosexual person does. In a world where gay communities are sometimes punished by death, this is a massive step along the path towards global equality.
As these small victories show, there is always goodness to counterbalance the depths of despair. And with this, there is always hope that 2015 will be a more peaceful, a more equal, and a more just year, leading to a better world for us all.
And, to help make sure that happens, Global Minorities Alliance will be there every step of the way to help make sure minority communities have a voice and persecution is challenged, wherever it presents.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.