It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. 2016 sure was a strange year, wasn’t it? The year’s movies kept our thoughts engaged, its songs kept our minds in tune and its top celebrities kept us entertained through their numerous ups and downs, but that’s not all. Donald Trump became president, Egypt went through the umpteenth severe economic crisis and we had to bid farewell to many celebrities that have enthralled and influenced us in equal measure. Here’s what we’re going to remember from the thrilling ride of 2016:
Comic Book Films Dominate 2016
The 14th addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe has not only racked up impressive box office numbers thus far, but has also added the talented Benedict Cumberbatch to an ever-expanding Marvel roster of Hollywood A-listers.
Expectations certainly didn’t help, but “Suicide Squad” left much to be desired and didn’t do its star-studded cast any justice. It did feature memorable performances by Jared Leto and Margot Robbie, though.
This harrowing depiction of Egyptian society was simply jaw-dropping. With the talented director Mohamed Diab and actress Nelly Karim in the forefront, the movie was the talk of town at the Cannes Film Festival.
Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice
It might have been bad, but “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” was certainly memorable. Oh and it was also the first movie to feature Ben Affleck in the iconic bat suit. The jury is still out on that one.
One of the year’s most unique releases was also among its most outrageous. Ryan Reynolds took on his superhero responsibilities very seriously, and delivered an instantly classic performance as the anti-hero superhero Deadpool.
Captain America: Civil War:
Captain America, Iron Man, Ant-Man, Spider-Man and all the Marvel superheroes that you could imagine combined to deliver one of the year’s highest grossing films, with more than 1.1 billion dollars in revenue. Who knew war could be that profitable, huh?
Men 30 Sana (30 Years Ago):
With a star-studded cast that includes big names such as Ahmed El Sakka, Mona Zaki, Mervat Amin and Sherif Mounir, “Men 30 Sana” was arguably the year’s biggest Egyptian thriller.
Hepta: The Last Lecture:
Audiences fell in love with a movie that asked us one of the simplest, yet most unanswerable questions out there: how do we love?
The sequel to 2003’s “Finding Nemo” didn’t disappoint. It grossed over one billion dollars worldwide and broke the North American record for the biggest opening weekend for an animated movie.
No movie dominated the early portion of 2016 quite as much as “The Revenant.” The picture was nominated in over 10 categories at the Academy Awards, with Leonardo DiCaprio winning his first Oscar for his performance in it.
X Men: Apocalypse:
The newest instalment of the X-Men film series might have been one of the weaker releases of recent times, but it still stole numerous headlines with solid additions to its all-star cast.
Trump Cards, Supermoons & First Time Awards:
Trump Wins Elections:
No one saw it coming, but it somehow never felt all that surprising. Donald Trump’s ascension to the U.S. presidency was undoubtedly among the most memorable moments of 2016.
What About Your First Oscars?:
After a seemingly incalculable amount of near-misses, Leonardo DiCaprio finally won one for the good guys by nabbing his first Oscar this year for a hauntingly powerful performance in “The Revenant.”
The 31st Olympic Games brought about the usual bevy of highlights, this time, under a gorgeous Brazilian backdrop that added in a memorable Copacabana element, if you will, to the festivities.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie called it quits this year after an 11-year relationship. The power couple’s split broke many hearts and had others rejoicing to watch karma at work.
Great Britain’s decision to leave the European Union was certainly shocking. Former Prime Minister David Cameron resigned shortly thereafter, thus shepherding the Kingdom to a fairly uncertain path.
Portugal Wins Euro 2016:
Cristiano Ronaldo led Portugal to their first ever major football championship by winning the highly contested UEFA Euro 2016 after beating the tournament host, France, in the final.
Egypt Floats Pound Rate:
Not many decisions have impacted Egypt in 2016 quite as much as the government’s decision to float the Egyptian pound exchange rate. It certainly won’t be a soon forgotten decision.
Grand Hotel Takes Over Egypt:
Grand Hotel captivated audiences last Ramadan with its expert direction, gorgeous setting and outstanding leading performances by Amr Youssef and Anoushka.
On November 14, 2016, the moon was as close to the Earth as it was in 1948, and it won’t be that close again until 2034, adding a new dimension to any “to the moon and back” euphemisms.
Hottest Songs in 2016:
Work (Rihanna Ft. Drake):
Undeniably groovy and unforgivingly catchy, “Work” represented the fruit of a collaboration between two of the world’s biggest performers, Rihanna and Drake.
Love Yourself (Justin Bieber):
Justin Bieber utilized the considerable writing talent of Ed Sheeran to drop one of 2016’s biggest hits. “Love Yourself” topped charts in more than 20 countries all over the world.
7 Years (Lukas Graham):
An unlikely hit from an unlikely source, “7 Years” by Lukas Graham topped charts in numerous countries across the world and brought Scandinavian Pop to the limelight after a long period of dormancy
Stressed Out (Twenty One Pilots):
“Stressed Out” is a cross-genre hit that resonated with people from all generations through its nostalgia-inducing lyrics and relatable struggles.
Fast Car (Jonas Blue Ft. Dakota):
This Jonas Blue and Dakota rendition of Tracy Chapman’s 1988 classic hit, “Fast Car”, dominated dance floors throughout the year with its memorable electronic fusion.
Pillowtalk (Zayn Malek):
Former One Direction member Zayn Malik soared high following his success with “Pillowtalk.”
Cheap Thrills (Sia Ft. Sean Paul):
Australian artist Sia went global with “Cheap Thrills”, a nifty pop single that has topped over 25 charts across the world.
I Took a Pill in Ibiza (Mike Posner):
“I Took a Pill in Ibiza” might’ve been controversial for all the obvious reasons. Nevertheless, its groovy, happy-go-lucky beat made it one of the year’s more memorable tracks.
Santa’s 2016 Nice List:
2016 was a good year for Ryan Reynolds. He gave the year’s most memorable performance in “Deadpool”, welcomed his second child with wife Blake Lively and was named by People Magazine as the Sexiest Dad Alive. Not too shabby, eh?
The fast-rising Egyptian sensation became the highest paid actor in Egypt this year with his role in the popular Ramadan series “Al Ostoora.” Oh, and he made it onto the cover of Enigma Magazine, too!
Perhaps no leading man has had the wonderful year that Amr Youssef has just had. He got engaged, was on the cover of Enigma Magazine, yet again, after receiving the Enigma Achievement Award, and participated in two of the year’s biggest hits on TV and in theatres through “Grand Hotel” and “Hepta”, respectively.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver truly took off in 2016. The show gained massive popularity during the U.S. presidential elections, with Oliver, arguably, becoming a moral compass for many.
Suicide Squad might’ve bombed, but that wasn’t because of Margot Robbie. The talented beauty gave a truly credible performance through her portrayal of Harley Quinn.
Mr. Olympics shattered the record for most Olympic gold medals in Rio 2016, bringing his total to 28 wins. At 31 years of age, you wouldn’t exactly put it past Phelps to shatter a few more records in four years’ time.
Santa’s 2016 Naughty List:
It wasn’t the best of years for Johnny Depp. His “Yoga Hosers” film with his daughter, Lily-Rose Depp, bombed both critically and commercially, while his messy divorce with Amber Heard left a stain on his reputation.
Kim Kardashian was never one to shy away from controversy. In 2016, she outdid herself by engaging in a needless saga with Taylor Swift and not exactly wrapping herself up in glory with her controversial Paris robbery.
Ramez Galal was back this year with yet another unoriginal concept for mindless TV programming. In “Ramez Beyilaab Bel Nar” (Ramez Playing with Fire), Galal once again used the incredible production costs available at his disposal to minimal effect.
The actor incurred the wrath of many all over the world after his breakup with Angelina Jolie amid allegations of his infidelity. It brought to many the memories of the equally unflattering end to his previous marriage with Jennifer Aniston.
Somehow, someway, drama always seems to follow Taylor Swift around. In 2016, Swift was the subject of one of the year’s most talked about incidents after her unnecessary public disagreement, in which Swift was proven to have lied, with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.
The 12-time Olympic medallist embroiled himself in drama at the Rio Olympics by claiming that he was robbed in Brazil, despite security footage proving his involvement in a vandalism case during the Olympics.
The legendary architect passed away this year at 65, leaving in her wake an enormous legacy of designing some of the world’s most gorgeous buildings.
The beloved singer and author of “Hallelujah”, one of the most covered songs of all time, passed away aged 82.
After a bout with pancreatic cancer, the world lost one of its best movie stars when the Harry Potter actor passed away at 69.
Mahmoud Abdel Aziz:
Egyptian cinema lost one of its most beloved and charismatic personalities when Mahmoud Abdel Aziz passed away last month.
Cancer claimed David Bowie’s life after 69 years on the planet, robbing the world of an inspirational, multi-generational talent.
Boxing sensation Muhammed Ali passed away earlier this year after a knockout septic shock had vanquished all the fight left in the beloved legend.
Nobel Prize winner Ahmed Zewail died earlier this year at the age of 70 after a long battle with cancer, but his achievements will live on forever.
Even doves cried earlier this year when 80s icon Prince passed away. He will be remembered as a music pioneer that was never afraid to push the envelope.
Many people’s childhood wouldn’t have been the same without Gene Wilder playing Willy Wonka in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” His death, in August, cost the world a remarkable talent.