2012 came to an end with all of its turbulence, anxieties, fears and hopes. Our world experienced determining and crucial moments in this year and the consequences of many important events which took place in 2012 still continue to affect our lives. The boiling Middle East has been engulfed in battles and conflicts which have deprived our region of peace and tranquility. Thousands of innocent citizens lost their lives in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Syria. The final days of the year also heralded a painful and heartrending incident which shocked the whole world: the Sandy Hook School massacre in the U.S. state of Connecticut in which 26 innocent children were brutally slaughtered by a mentally retarded boy who couldn’t tolerate the extensiveness of the freedom which the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution had given to him.

For me as an Iranian citizen, this year brought sad news of sanctions, war threats and hostility with the Western world, none which I can turn a blind eye to. My people underwent difficult and agonizing days as the country’s national currency, rial, lost almost 70% of its value and a staggering hyperinflation paralyzed the domestic economy. The economic sanctions of the United States and the European Union nearly brought my country to its knees and no conscious voice was raised to protest these inhumane measures adopted against the defenseless Iranian civilians.

Personally, the passed year was a successful year for me. I made acquaintance of many wonderful people across the world, conducted many important interviews, get published on different media outlets and am looking forward to promising horizons in the coming year.

A New Year is ahead of us and I’m sure it will bring peace, tranquility and happiness to all of us. I wish all of you, your family members and friends a hopeful 2013 full of prosperity, joy and success. Whether you’re from Turkey or Argentina, Slovakia or Brazil, South Africa or Canada, the United States or Japan, Saudi Arabia or Malaysia, France or Spain, I wish you all the best and hope that you realize your dreams and aspirations in this New Year, and that your life  may be full of jovial and promising moments.

I hope that Iran may regain its strength and reputation in this New Year, that the United States may come to its senses and engage in a meaningful and comprehensive dialogue with Iran to bring to an end the suffering of my fellow citizens, the Syrian nation may experience a peaceful life which it has been denied in more than 20 months, the Palestinian nation may fulfill its inalienable rights to a dignified and honorable life and that the plight of the poor and impoverished children across the world may give its place to a lasting affluence and well-being.