Viral video of Turkish proposal in front of Islam’s Kaaba sparks anger online

Video grab of the marriage proposal.
Updated 21 March 2017
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Viral video of Turkish proposal in front of Islam’s Kaaba sparks anger online

JEDDAH: Marriage etiquette has changed over the generations and of all the headline-grabbing proposals from around the world, TRT reporter Yusuf Akyön may have taken the cake when he popped the question to his girlfriend this week.
Every culture has its own unique marriage traditions — many Muslims, for instance, prefer to propose to their significant others in the presence of family. Akyön, who hails from a Turkish family, decided to take his relationship with his girlfriend to the next level in Islam’s most sacred site, in front of the Kaaba in Makkah’s Grand Mosque.
The young man decided to surprise his loved one, taking advantage of the presence of their families, and pulled a ring from his pocket, saying: “We are here in front of the Kaaba and in the presence of our blessed mothers.
“Of course, I am embarrassed of doing this in front of them, but I think what I will do is good,” Akyön said in a video of the proposal that went viral after he shared it on his social media accounts.
Akyön is the son of the Turkish Press Attaché in Saudi Arabia Bahattin Akyön, Sözcü Newspaper reported.
Despite the fiancée’s shock, she jokingly asked Akyön to kneel while asking for her hand. “Kneel down otherwise I won’t say yes,” she said. The young man eventually kneeled before her, in a Hollywood-style moment.

However, Akyön faced a wave of criticism after posting the video online and had to delete his social media accounts.
Some Turkish social media users reacted to the video, saying it was disrespectful of the reporter to propose in such a sacred place.
Some even demanded the Turkish TV channel fire the reporter and hold him accountable for his actions.
“Intentionally or not, your correspondent, Yusuf Akyön, should be taught a lesson for abusing our holy sites,” user Merve Septioglu said on Twitter.
Others accused the reporter of seeking attention and fame by filming such a video, while some feared the move would trigger a ban on Turks performing Umrah and visiting the Kaaba.
Arabs social media users also shared their thoughts on the matter, with mixed reactions.
“I respect romance and cultures of other nations, but I wish [for] the same respect for our holy sites. Did you really have to propose to her here and in this way?” Waleed Al-Farraj, the editor-in-chief of Ayn Al-Youm news website tweeted.
However, some users came to his defense.
“Makkah people marry in the Grand Mosque and even invite others. It is normal,” Khalid Balbisi tweeted.


WWE stars soften up to Jeddah children to introduce anti-bullying campaign

Updated 25 April 2018
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WWE stars soften up to Jeddah children to introduce anti-bullying campaign

  • Al-Oula is a non-profit organization targeted to break the cycle of poverty
  • WWE stars sat down in front of 30 students from the institution

Jeddah: The children of Al-Oula –- a non-profit organization targeted to break the cycle of poverty –- had the most thrilling school trip as they came to see World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstars Mojo Rawley and Mark Henry in King Abdullah stadium on Tuesday.
The stars sat down in front of 30 students from the institution and softened up as they shared stories from their childhood and introduced their anti-bullying campaign “Be a Star.”
The stars shared personal stories and the difficulties they have faced.
Dean Muhtadi, 31, better known by his ring name Mojo Rawley, told the children: “We are different in many ways but sometimes you have to focus on the similarities and positive aspects of others.”
Mark Henry, 46, opened up about his past: “When I was young people would call me names and were mean to me, so I decided to become the strongest person in the world.
“I won three world championships in three different world countries that had nothing to do with each other and I am very proud of myself for not letting the mean comments get to my head.”
Henry was world heavyweight champion, and is also a two-time Olympian and a gold medalist at the Pan American Games.
Later the children had the chance to talk directly with the stars. Rawley is originally Palestinian, so he spoke in Arabic with some of the children.
Henry told one of the students: “If someone is troubling you, don’t give them the satisfaction of letting the comments or actions affect you, and immediately tell your teacher or your parents or any adult, and they will help you through your problems.”
The children then took pictures and were given tickets to the WWE Royal Rumble show on Friday.
“Jeddah is a very family-friendly and a culture-loving city, so I love being here,” Henry told Arab News. “The only difference is the language. Apart from that everyone is very nice and warm.”
On the Royal Rumble, he said: “Get ready for the best entertainment you have ever seen with your own eyes.”
“For someone who comes from an Arab background, this is a historic achievement and it will be remembered for ever,” Rawley said in an interview with Arab News.
“When I first found out that we agreed to a ten-year partnership, it was the coolest thing to find out.
“I am very fortunate to be a part of this long-term partnership which will give the citizens a long time to understand and give us enough time to develop our brand here in Saudi Arabia.
“Last year the show in Riyadh was a small, non-televised show but it was one of the coolest experiences of my life, so I am very excited to perform in this grand-scale show. It’s going to be an amazing show. It will rival Wrestle Mania, which is the biggest event of the year.”
Jana Marwan, a nine-year-old student, said: “Everyone told us that the wrestlers were scary but they weren’t. In fact they were very friendly. They taught us how to look out for ourselves and I had so much fun. I am thankful to them.”