#ThisHappened in 2017: Twitter shares the top moments of the past year

Twitter is looking back at the main events of 2017 according to what people tweeted, retweeted and shared (Shutterstock)
Updated 05 December 2017
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#ThisHappened in 2017: Twitter shares the top moments of the past year

As we reach the end of 2017 Twitter has been reflecting on the year that was: from breaking news, entertainment, sports, and local conversations, if it happened anywhere, it happened on Twitter.

Early this year, Twitter launched its Moments guide in Arabic that enables people to discover new content by displaying curated “Moments,” a feature that creates a moment based on a collection of tweets. Located in Twitter’s “Explore” tab, this tool features moments from around the world and regionally on topics that include news, sports and entertainment, that are also tweeted from @MomentsMENA.

One of the key highlights that made 2017 unique was when Twitter’s Co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey (@jack) Tweeted Arabic Eid wishes for the first time to celebrate Eid Al Adha:
Take a look at how 2017 unfolded on Twitter, and share your biggest moments and memories of 2017 with #ThisHappened:

Saudi Arabia’s most tweeted moments

In 2017, the most retweeted tweets in Saudi Arabia were from King Salman @KingSalman; the top tweet being when he tweeted the celebration of Saudi Arabia’s national day. This message also falls under the top 100 global retweets. The second was when the king tweeted his wishes for the Saudi people on the occasion of Eid Al Fitr:
Another top tweet in Saudi Arabia in 2017 was by football player @fahad_almowalad who posted his congratulations when the Kingdom’s national team qualified for the 2018 World Cup:
Saudi Arabia’s top trends

Following Saudi Arabia’s announcement that women were to be allowed to drive in the country, people both locally and globally took to Twitter to air their views on the topic, generating over 2 million tweets within the week:

The region also witnessed the launch of the “Retweets Challenge.”

Carter Wilkerson’s (@carterjwm) call for a year’s supply of free nuggets from @Wendys was heard around the globe, and became the most retweeted tweet with 3.6 million Retweets, surpassing Ellen’s infamous selfie that she took at the Oscars in 2014, as the most retweeted tweet of all time.

The trend continued and spread across the MENA region, where Saudi National, AbdulAziz (@Mr_Abdul3ziz) tweeted to a well-known fast food chain (@ShawarmerSA) asking how many retweets it would take for the chain to donate 100 Shawarma sandwiches to underprivileged workers – that post request eventually spread to other brands:
 
Below are some of the top trending topics that generated popular hashtags in the Kingdom:

Top Hajj tweets:
 

Top sports hashtags:
1. الهلال# (Al Hilal football club)
2. النصر# (Al Nassr football club)
3. الاهلي# (Al Ahli football club)
4. الاتحاد# (Al Ittihad football club)
5. الشباب# (Al Shabab football club)

Top athletes accounts:
1. @Faisalbinturki1 (Faisal Bin Turki, Chairman of Al Nassr football club)
2. @omaralsomah (Omar Al Somah, Al Ahli football player)
3. @YASSER_Q_Y20 (Yasser AL Qahtani, Al Hilal football player)
4. @AliAlhabsi (Ali Al Habsi, Al Hilal Goalkeeper)
5. @mohadalowais (Mohammad Al Owais, Al Ahli goalkeeper)

Prominent new joiners:
The following list also falls under the top 200 global accounts that were created on Twitter in 2017:
1. @khrbinomar77 (Omar Khribin, Al Hilal football player)
2. @S_AlNeayma (Saleh AlNeayma, Former captain of the Saudi national football team)
3. @nasser_shamrni (Nasser Al Shamrani, Al Shabab Club football player)
4. @AwwadSAlawwad (H.E. Awwad Bin Saleh Al Awwad, Minister of Culture and Information)
5. @HolyKaaba (Official Al-ka`bah Al-musharrafah account)

Top entertainment accounts:
1. @Fayez_malki (Fayez Malki, Saudi actor)
2. @Mjeedalfawzan (Abdul Mjeed Al Fawzan, Saudi musician)
3. @algassabinasser (Nasser Al Ghassabi, Saudi actor)
4. @fawaz_dr (Fawaz Al Laboon, Saudi poet)
5. @AhlamAlShamsi (Ahlam Al Shamsi, Emirati musician)


Turkey acquits top journalist in ‘espionage’ case

Updated 16 July 2018
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Turkey acquits top journalist in ‘espionage’ case

ISTANBUL: An Istanbul court on Monday acquitted one of Turkey’s most prominent political journalists in a long-running case on espionage charges dating back to an arms interception on the Syrian border in 2014.
Erdem Gul, the Ankara bureau chief of the opposition Cumhuriyet daily, was acquitted by the Istanbul criminal court, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.
Gul had in May 2016 been sentenced to five years in jail and his then editor-in-chief Can Dundar to five years and 10 months for revealing state secrets over their front-page story which alleged Turkish secret services sought to deliver arms to Syria rebels.
Despite spending time in pre-trial detention, neither was sent to jail immediately and both walked free pending appeal.
But in a hugely complex process, Turkey’s top appeals court in March quashed both convictions, saying that Gul should be acquitted but Dundar given a stiffer sentence of up to 20 years. A retrial then commenced.
The cases of Gul and Dundar have now been separated and Dundar remains on trial.
Gul is still working in his job for Cumhuriyet but Dundar left Turkey for Germany shortly after the initial verdict, saying he refused to put his head “under the guillotine.”
Cumhuriyet’s report on a shipment of arms intercepted at the Syrian border in January 2014 sparked a furor when it was published, fueling speculation about Turkey’s role in the Syrian conflict and its alleged ties to Islamist groups.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had reacted furiously to the allegations, personally warning Dundar he would “pay a heavy price.”
He has accused Fethullah Gulen, the US-based preacher blamed by Turkey for the 2016 failed coup, of instigating the scandal to discredit his government.
It was the first in a number of high profile criminal cases against journalists which multiplied after the failed July 2016 coup against Erdogan and amplified concerns over press freedoms in the country.
In a separate case, 13 journalists and staff from Cumhuriyet were given jail sentences of up to seven-and-a-half years in late April on terror-linked charges, which critics said was punishment for the paper’s anti-Erdogan stance.
They are all however still free pending appeal. Gul remains on trial in another separate case.