It began with a horrific natural disaster and continued with volcanic eruptions and brutal weather around the globe. The year 2010 was one in which mother nature was particularly cruel. The Haiti earthquake wiped out hundreds of thousands of people in January and floods in Pakistan affected 20 million.
Elsewhere conflicts brought further human suffering. The war in Afghanistan entered perhaps its darkest year and in Pakistan militants continued to wreak havoc with a string of suicide attacks as the United States increased drone strikes in the tribal regions.
Amid the suffering, there were also tales of hope. The rescue of 33 Chilean miners, trapped underground for more than two months, was a reminder of the power of the human spirit. South Africa also enthralled sports fans with a colourful hosting of the football World Cup.
In many ways the last 12 months will be remembered for a lack of progress. The direct peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel lasted just a few weeks and western powers failed to reach any agreement with Iran over its atomic programme. In Iraq, it took eight months for a government to be formed and the next 12 months will prove whether a cabinet filled with members from across the political and religious spectrum will be able to bring stability.
For a multimedia presentation of the year that was, click here.
January 12: Haiti earthquake
A magnitude-7 earthquake strikes Haiti, killing more than a quarter of a million people and reducing vast swathes of the capital Port-au-Prince to rubble. A cholera epidemic has killed more than 2,500 Haitians since mid-October. Tens of thousands of earthquake survivors are still living in crowded tent and tarpaulin camps.
February 13: Marjah offensive Afghanistan
About 15,000 US-led forces launch one of Nato's biggest offensives against the Taliban in Marjah, in Helmand province. Operation Moshtarak came in the bloodiest year for foreign forces since the Taliban was toppled in 2001. The Red Cross said violence had made it harder for aid groups to help Afghans than at any time in 30 years.
March 7: Iraq election
Millions of Iraqis vote in the country's second parliamentary election since the 2003 polls as bombings and mortar attacks kill 33 people. Ayad Allawi's Iraqiyya bloc narrowly won the most seats, but after eight months of wrangling Nouri al Maliki was awarded a second term as prime minister and formed a coalition government from members of all of Iraq's major political, sectarian and ethnic groups.
April 7: Thailand protests
A state of emergency is declared in Bangkok and surrounding provinces after demonstrators occupying Bangkok's commercial heart broke into the grounds of parliament. The "red shirt" demonstrations were finally put down by the military in May. In all, 91 died during the protests in the country's worst political violence in modern times.
April 14: Iceland's volcano
Eyjafjallajökull erupts, spewing vast clouds of ash into the skies over Europe, grounding flights and leaving thousands of passengers stranded, many for a week or more.
April 20: BP oil spill
The Deepwater Horizon oil rig explodes, killing 11 people and causing the worst oil spill in US history. The oil leak caused by the explosion was not stopped until July 15 after nearly five million barrels of oil were released into the Gulf of Mexico. US President Barack Obama was criticised for his handling of the disaster and BP chairman Tony Hayward resigned after a public relations nightmare.
May 11: UK coalition
David Cameron becomes Britain's prime minister after Gordon Brown gave up his battle to remain in power. The Conservatives formed a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats five days after election results failed to give any party a parliamentary majority.
May 28: Pakistan mosque attack
Gunmen launch simultaneous raids on two mosques of the minority Ahmadi sect in Lahore, killing nearly 100 people. The attackers fired guns and threw grenades at worshippers during Friday prayers. Three militants later blew themselves up with suicide vests. The attack was just one of many in 2010 targeting religious sites.
May 31: Gaza flotilla attack
Israeli special forces raid a flotilla trying to bring aid to Gaza, killing nine activists. Israel faced international condemnation for the operation which further strained ties with Turkey where most of the victims were from. Within months, Israel eased the blockade on the Palestinian territory which had been in place since 2007.
June 11: South Africa World Cup
A continent united as the football World Cup arrived in Africa for the first time. Fear and cynicism had been prevalent in the build-up, but following spectacular opening and closing ceremonies, safety on the streets and incredible hospitality, South Africa did their continent proud.
June 23: McChrystal resigns
Gen Stanley McChrystal resigns as the Commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan after critical comments about senior White House officials appeared in an article in Rolling Stone magazine. Gen David Petraeus, who once led US forces in Iraq, was appointed as his successor.
July 22: Pakistan floods
Weeks of massive flooding begin in Pakistan, a disaster that will affect 20 million people, including six million children. By mid-August, the UN said the floods had killed at least 1,600 people and the Pakistani government said water had inundated areas totalling 150,000 square kilometres. The floods destroyed or damaged some 724,000 homes, and washed away at least 577,000 hectares of crops.
September 7: Paris strikes
The first of seven strikes gets underway in Paris over pension reform plans. Other demonstrations against austerity measures took place across Europe in 2010 as governments sought to reduce budget deficits.
September 9: 9/11 memorial
Rev Terry Jones, an anti-Islamic preacher, backs off on his threat to burn the Quran on the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US. Mr Jones said he was angry about the planned construction of an Islamic centre and mosque near the site of the New York attacks.
September 18: Afghan election
Afghanis vote for who will take a seat in the country's lower house. The threat of violence overshadowed the vote with Pashtun areas worst affected. The country's UN mission said "considerable fraud" had taken place.
September 26: Peace talks collapse
Israel fails to renew a 10-month partial settlement freeze and, as a result, three rounds of direct negotiations with the Palestinians break down after just a few weeks. The US struggled to resuscitate the talks but in December admitted its efforts to persuade Israel to impose a new settlement freeze had come to naught.
September 30: India mosque ruling
A court rules that the site of a demolished 16th-century mosque in Ayodhya, northern India, will be divided between Hindus and Muslims. The demolition of the 16th century mosque by Hindu mobs in 1992 triggered some of India's worst riots that killed about 2,000 people.
October 3: India Commonwealth Games
The Commonwealth Games in New Delhi get underway after a build-up marred by corruption, delays, a collapsed footbridge and an outbreak of Dengue fever. India spent an estimated US$6 billion (Dh22bn) to showcase its capital, building a new airport, metro system, roads and stadiums.
October 7: France bans veil
France clears the last legal hurdle to ban people from wearing burqas and other face-covering garments in public places. The measure passed both houses of parliament by an overwhelming majority and will take effect in the spring.
October 13: Chilean miners rescued
The first of 33 Chilean miners is brought to the surface after spending more than two months trapped 700 metres underground. The event captivated people around the world.
October 23: Bahrain elections
In Bahrain's parliamentary elections, pro-government candidates win 22 seats in the 40-member legislature. The island's Shiite majority won the same number of seats, 18, that they had in the outgoing parliament.
October 26: Iran's nuclear programme
Iran begins loading fuel into the core of its first nuclear power plant. Officials said the fuelling at the Bushehr plant showed Iran's nuclear plans were on track despite sanctions.
October 28: Yemen bombs
Two bombs being sent via air freight to the US from Yemen are intercepted in Dubai and the UK, and defused. Al Qa'eda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility.
November 13: Aung San Suu Kyi released
Myanmar's pro-democracy icon, Aung San Suu Kyi, is released from house arrest after spending 15 of the past 21 years in some sort of detention.
November 23: Korea conflict
North and South Korea trade artillery fire after Pyongyang warns the South to halt military drills near its sea border. Two South Korean marines were killed in what the UN called one of the "gravest incidents" since the end of the Korean War.
November 28: Egypt election
Egypt's ruling party wins by a landslide in parliamentary elections, according to results released on December 6, after a final round of voting that was boycotted by the two main opposition groups.
November 28: WikiLeaks
The whistleblower website WikiLeaks begins to release 250,000 US State Department cables. The release followed the disclosure of documents and information relating to the Iraq and Afghan conflicts earlier in the year.December 2
Football joy for Qatar
Qatar is appointed the host for the 2022 Fifa World Cup.
December 17: Pakistan drone attacks
Missile attacks launched from United States drones kill 54 militants in the Khyber tribal region, according to Pakistan security officials. The drone attacks, which have mostly targeted North Waziristan, more than doubled in 2010 from last year to 116, according to the Long War Journal website.