The year 2022 is nearing its end, during which many personalities who left indelible marks on many people left our world. We will mention here some of the most prominent personalities and the most searched names on the Internet in the Arab world.
Queen Elizabeth II
On September 8 of this year, Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning British monarch on the throne, passed away at Balmoral Castle at the age of 96, after seventy years on the throne.
The Queen ascended the throne in 1952, and her era witnessed tremendous social and political changes.
The name of Queen Elizabeth II topped the headlines of Arab and Western newspapers, and most countries of the world called her because of her strong influence and presence at the global level.
The death of Queen Elizabeth II sparked a wide interaction on social media in all Arab countries, and singers and bloggers expressed their grief and shared some historical moments from the life of the Queen.
Some Twitter pioneers reported that the site’s service stopped for a short time after announcing the news of the Queen’s death, and specialists in social networking techniques attributed this to the intense interaction of the tweeters at that moment.
Many European countries, the Commonwealth and some Arab countries also declared official mourning.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
The President of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, died on May 13, 2022, and the flags in the country were flown for 40 days, in addition to suspending work in ministries, departments, official institutions, and the private sector for three days.
Upon his death, his name topped the Google search engine, especially in the UAE.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed was the second president of the United Arab Emirates, and the sixteenth ruler of Abu Dhabi, the largest of the seven emirates that make up the federation.
To his credit, he granted Emirati women the right to give their children citizenship when they reach the age of majority in the event of her marriage to a foreigner. During his reign, the first woman became a member of the Federal National Council.
Khalifa introduced an amendment to the method of selecting members of the Federal National Council, as half of the forty members of the Council have been elected by electoral bodies since 2006, while the membership of the other half has been appointed.
In January 2014, he suffered a stroke, after which he underwent a successful operation. However, his presence in the public sphere as head of state began to decline since that date, as he assigned most of his duties to his brother, Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.
Khalifa bin Zayed’s personal wealth was estimated at about $18 billion and he was the fourth richest ruler in the world.
Sherine Abu Aqleh
Sherine Abu Aqleh was born in January 1971 in Jerusalem. She graduated from the Rosary Sisters School in Beit Hanina in Jerusalem, and holds American citizenship.
The name of the journalist topped the search engines on the Internet after she was killed while covering the news for Al-Jazeera in Jenin camp on May 11, 2022.
Al-Jazeera accused the Israeli soldiers of targeting its correspondent “directly”. It quoted eyewitnesses as saying that “a sniper targeted Sherine with a bullet in the face, even though she was wearing a jacket and helmet bearing the press logo.”
While Israeli sources stated that the reporter was killed by random shooting by Palestinian gunmen.
Abu Aqleh covered the events of the Palestinian uprising that began in 2000, the Israeli invasion of Jenin and Tulkarm camps in 2002, and the various Israeli raids and military operations that the Gaza Strip was subjected to.
Abu Aqleh was the first Arab journalist to be allowed into Ashkelon prison in 2005, where she interviewed Palestinian detainees who were sentenced to long prison sentences by Israeli courts.
Abu Aqleh recounted that one of the moments that affected her the most was visiting the prison and seeing the Palestinian prisoners, some of whom had spent more than 20 years behind bars.
The US authorities opened an investigation into her death, but the Israeli Defense Minister described the investigation’s decision as a mistake.
Investigations are still underway to uncover the journalist’s killer.
Egyptian artist Hisham Selim died at the age of 64, after suffering from cancer.
Selim began his artistic career at an early age, through the movie “Empire Mim”, in which he appeared with the artist Faten Hamama, and was shown in 1972, after which he played prominent roles in a number of films and series that were widely accepted by viewers.
Hisham Selim participated last year in the movie “Musa” and the series “Rebound Attack”, before his health deteriorated.
He was known for his positions in support of the revolution of January 25, 2011, which overthrew former Egyptian President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, and he was also known for his interest in political and public affairs. He presented a talk show on an Arab satellite channel between 2013 and 2014.
Selim was a supporter of the LGBT community. In May 2020, during a television program, he spoke about the sexual crossing of his daughter, “Noura”, into a male named “Nour”, after suffering from gender identity disorder in a society that “rejects that.”
Hisham Selim’s position was met with great interaction on social media, and singers considered Selim’s talk about his son’s journey with sexual transit “rare courage” and “unfamiliar” in Egyptian society, as many still view gender identity disorder as a moral issue.
And Hisham Selim is the son of Saleh Selim, who is considered one of the most famous people to assume the presidency of Al-Ahly Club, as he led the club in two periods, the first from 1980 to 1988 and the second from 1992 to 2002.
After several days of continuous efforts of drilling and excavation work by Moroccan ambulance teams and volunteers to save the child, Rayan, who fell into a 32-meter-deep well while playing, he was taken out on February 6, 2022, dead.
The process of removing Rayan, who was five years old, came after a long wait, and after the manual digging work stopped, and a medical team headed by a doctor specializing in resuscitation and nurses entered the tunnel in which the child was located, according to what was confirmed by Moroccan media reports.
The media and social media pioneers carried pictures of the rescue operation, while large crowds of people gathered at the accident site throughout the days of digging and rescue.
Within two days of the killing of Egyptian broadcaster Shaima Gamal, her name was at the top of the Google search engine due to the atrocity of the crime and the shock of the masses with the news of her death.
And the Egyptian Public Prosecution published a statement that included details of the anchor’s killing, which revealed that the accused of the murder was her husband, who killed her so that his wife would not expose his actions.
An eyewitness close to the family had directed the burial site of the wife’s body 20 days after her disappearance, and provided details of the crime, according to a statement by the Egyptian Public Prosecution.
The murder of Shaima Jamal drew the world’s attention to the fact that the killing of women is not always caused by ignorance or poverty, as is often claimed, but rather by a patriarchal culture that allows women’s rights to be violated.
There are other names that topped the search engines in 2022, such as the Lebanese singer George Al-Rassi, who died in a traffic accident, and the Egyptian actress Mayar El-Beblawi, who talked about her bold scenes with Amr Abdel-Jalil and how she refused to film bold scenes during the month of Ramadan.