Maanvi Singh

It's been a lively year for social media mavens as they hashtagged their way through the ups, the downs and the downright silly.

"I lost more than 80 percent of my university friends," recalls Jagannath Lamichhane.

After silently struggling with depression for two decades, Lamichhane published an essay in Nepal Times about his mental illness. "I could have hid my problem — like millions of people around the world," he says, but "if we hide our mental health, it may remain a problem forever."

When the last remaining hospital in besieged eastern Aleppo crumbled under a wave of artillery strikes on Nov. 18, one of the casualties was 25-year-old nurse Kefah.

"The last time he called me was one night before he was killed," says Dr. A.M. — an intensive care specialist based in Detroit who, for the past four years, has been providing training and support via Skype and WhatsApp to medical staff in Aleppo. He asked that we only use his initials because the Syrian government has persecuted doctors — and their families — for treating rebels.

It's around 6 o'clock on a Sunday evening, and Anne-Charlotte Mornington is running around the food market in London's super-hip Camden neighborhood with a rolling suitcase and a giant tarp bag filled with empty tupperware boxes. She's going around from stall to stalll, asking for leftovers.

Mornington works for the food-sharing app Olio. "If ever you have anything that you can't sell tomorrow but it's still edible," she explains to the vendors, "I'll take it and make sure that it's eaten."

Twenty-two-year-old Zeinab Sekaanvand is in jail, awaiting execution.

Charged with killing her husband when she was 17, she confessed to the murder but later recanted, saying her brother-in-law committed the crime and pressured her to take responsibility.

Now, her cause has galvanized civil rights groups like Amnesty International, which says that she did not receive a fair trial and that Iran has a record of executing juvenile offenders.

But any day now, she could be hanged.

Her story begins in a small village in northern Iran.

Khaleed Khateeb dreamed of being a photojournalist when he was in high school. As he watched Syria crumble into chaos around him, he wanted to share his country's story with the world.

Say you want to escape the doldrums of daily life — but you can't quite afford a trip to Hawaii. Why not to head to your local tiki bar for a sample of the South Seas?

Why do onions make us cry?

Many a poet has pondered. Is it because their beautiful, multilayered complexity moves us to weep? Are we mourning the majestic bulb as we cut it up and consume it?

Or are these tears induced by the tragic tedium of chopping, chopping, chopping?

Yes, yes. All of the above.

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