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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

WATCH: Reasons to remain optimistic about the Middle East after tough 2017

With the ongoing conflicts in Syria, Libya and Yemen, political turmoil and terror attacks in other parts, it seemed like the year couldn’t get worse.

Then US President Donald Trump decided to upend historic rights, declaring his intention to change Jerusalem’s status.

In his move to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel, he not only usurps Palestinian rights but also disregards international law.

Here at The National, we have covered all of these developments, and yet we have also challenged ourselves to look for reasons to remain hopeful for this region. In addition to the strength of human capital and natural resources, there were specific developments this year that give us reason to be cautiously optimistic.

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Read more:

Lebanon year in review: Is the country a failed state?

The economy in review: UAE weathers challenges

Iraq year in review: the country may be free of ISIL but lies in ruins

Pictures: The world in 2017