Time magazine named Angela Merkel as its “Person of the Year” for 2015. Merkel has been the Chancellor of Germany (the top government position in the country) since 2005. She is nicknamed “Mutti” (mommy). The magazine states that she was selected because of her great leadership. She has made some tough decisions that were sometimes unpopular. Greece was struggling with serious debt problems, and Merkel played a role in assisting Greece with its money issues. Millions of people in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, and other nations have been forced to leave their countries in order to escape war and persecution. Germany has welcomed a large number of these refugees this year.
Two others who were close contenders for Time’s Person of the Year were Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (image), Islamic State’s leader, and Donald Trump, an American businessman who is also a candidate for the 2016 American presidential election. The Islamic State is a militant group that has taken over parts of Syria and Iraq.
The Person of the Year award by Time magazine has been given since 1927. It is awarded to individuals (or sometimes groups of people or even things) that significantly influence the world, for better or worse. There have been some interesting winners in the past that were not individuals. In 1982, the award went to the computer for the impact it was having on us. In 1988, planet Earth was the winner because our environment and its protection became a significant subject. In 2006, the Person of the Year was “You”, as in all of us. This was to recognize the impact that user-generated information had caused because of the Internet.
Merkel is 61 years old, and had worked as a scientist before she got into politics. Forbes, an American magazine, listed her as the “world’s most powerful woman”, and as the “world’s second most powerful person” in 2015. She even has a barbie doll modelled after her. She is often seen with her hands in front of her with the fingertips touching. The hand gesture has been given the name of “Merkel-Raute”, and is represented by the emoticon <>.
Here is Time’s video about its Person of the Year.
Image Credits: Armin Linnartz and http://www.cducsu.de for Merkel’s image and hands image, Time for its Person of the Year image, https://www.mi5.gov.uk for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s image
Sources: telegraph.co.uk, Time, Forbes