WWE superstars take in the historic culture of Jeddah ahead of Greatest Royal Rumble

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WWE stars visit UNESCO World Heritage site of Old Town Jeddah. (WWE/General Sport Authority)
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WWE stars visit UNESCO World Heritage site of Old Town Jeddah. (WWE/General Sport Authority)
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WWE stars visit UNESCO World Heritage site of Old Town Jeddah. (WWE/General Sport Authority)
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WWE stars visit UNESCO World Heritage site of Old Town Jeddah. (WWE/General Sport Authority)
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WWE stars visit UNESCO World Heritage site of Old Town Jeddah. (WWE/General Sport Authority)
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WWE stars visit UNESCO World Heritage site of Old Town Jeddah. (WWE/General Sport Authority)
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WWE stars visit UNESCO World Heritage site of Old Town Jeddah. (WWE/General Sport Authority)
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WWE stars visit UNESCO World Heritage site of Old Town Jeddah. (WWE/General Sport Authority)
Updated 23 April 2018
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WWE superstars take in the historic culture of Jeddah ahead of Greatest Royal Rumble

Jeddah: Down the centuries the ancient coral buildings of Jeddah’s historic old town Al Balad have welcomed princes and kings, now Saudi Arabia’s architectural jewel has hosted a different kind of royalty.
The Greatest Royal Rumble will see 50 WWE athletes compete for glory this Friday at the King Abdullah Stadium, but before the event explodes into action, two of its superstars, Mojo Rawley and Mark Henry, took time to experience the culture and history of the city hosting the show.
Al Balad, ‘the town’ is the UNESCO World Heritage site that was once the beating heart of the Red Sea city and has stood for more than 1,400 years dating back to the 7th century.
For WWE superstar Mojo Rawley the visit came with a sense of personal history too as his parents once lived in Saudi Arabia.
“My parents have always told me about this beautiful country where they lived for years,” he said during a tour through the historic houses adorned with elaborate hand-carved wooden shutters and balconies,” said the athlete.
“I’ve always wanted to come and I’m thrilled to the fact that I am here enjoying this special historic place which I’m proud that is part of me, I’m very excited to see our Saudi fans at the Greatest Royal Rumble this coming Friday, it is going to be a historic occasion.”
While for “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry it was the Kingdom’s hospitality that has impressed him the most. “Ever since I got off the plane everyone welcomed me warmly. Sometimes we don’t get that back home.”
The two strongmen were guided through the narrow alleyways of the old town by Samir Qommusani, a respected lecturer with the General Authority for Tourism and National Heritage. As they strolled he spoke about the authentic spirit of Jeddah, its architecture, its customs and its Jeddawi food, which won approval from the wrestlers after a taste test.
“It is always a pleasure to receive the Kingdom’s guests in this historic town, Al-Balad always stunned visitors with its special spirit,” said Mr.Qommusani.
The superstars were also accompanied by the famous Saudi host of Laffat Al-Mamlakah show at MBC channel Loai Al Shareef, which often showcases the historic sites and ancient civilizations of the Arab peninsula.
“Saudi Arabia is a very rich country when it comes to culture and history and I’m delighted to have had the opportunity with our guests from the WWE in Jeddah. Mark Henry told me that he will be visiting Saudi Arabia again but next time to Makkah.”
Tickets are available online at WWE.SA, and are also from retail locations including the General Sports Authority offices in Riyadh and Damman, Red Sea Mall, Mall of Arabia and Al Andalus Mall. Tickets will also be on-sale at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium beginning Wednesday, April 25.
The Greatest Royal Rumble marks the start of a 10-year partnership between WWE and the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia. Samoa Joe will compete in an Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match against Seth Rollins, Finn Bálor and The Miz in one of an incredible seven Championship matches at the Greatest Royal Rumble event.
WWE fans will also see John Cena vs Triple H, The Undertaker vs. Rusev and Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns in a Steel Cage Universal Championship match.
And recently WWE announced that two more Championship matches including the Raw Tag Team Championship match: Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt versus Sheamus and Cesaro, and the United States Championship match: Jeff Hardy versus Jinder Mahal with Sunil Singh.


Forget ‘manmade’: Berkeley bans gender-specific words

Updated 44 min 35 sec ago
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Forget ‘manmade’: Berkeley bans gender-specific words

  • Nothing will be manmade in the liberal city but ‘human-made’
  • Berkeley’s effort to be more inclusive is drawing both praise and scorn

BERKELEY, California: There will be no manholes in Berkeley, California. City workers will drop into “maintenance holes” instead.
Nothing will be manmade in the liberal city but “human-made.” And students at the University of California, Berkeley, will join “collegiate Greek system residences” rather than fraternities and sororities.
Berkeley leaders voted unanimously this week to replace about 40 gender-specific words in the city code with gender-neutral terms — an effort to be more inclusive that’s drawing both praise and scorn.
That means “manpower” will become “human effort” or “workforce,” while masculine and feminine pronouns like “she,” “her,” “he” and “him” will be replaced by “they” and “them,” according to the measure approved Tuesday by the City Council.
The San Francisco Bay Area city is known for its long history of progressive politics and “first of” ordinances. Berkeley was among the first cities to adopt curbside recycling in the 1970s and more recently, became the first in the US to tax sugary drinks and ban natural gas in new homes.
Berkeley also was the birthplace of the nation’s free-speech movement in the 1960s and where protests from both left- and right-wing extremist groups devolved into violence during a flashpoint in the country’s political divisions soon after President Donald Trump’s election.
Rigel Robinson, who graduated from UC Berkeley last year and at 23 is the youngest member of the City Council, said it was time to change a municipal code that makes it sound like “men are the only ones that exist in entire industries or that men are the only ones on city government.”
“As society and our cultures become more aware about issues of gender identity and gender expression, it’s important that our laws reflect that,” said Robinson, who co-authored the measure. “Women and non-binary people are just as deserving of accurate representation.”
When the changes take effect in the fall, all city forms will be updated and lists with the old words and their replacements will be posted at public libraries and the council chambers. The changes will cost taxpayers $600, Robinson said.
Removing gendered terms has been slowly happening for decades in the United States as colleges, companies and organizations implement gender-neutral alternatives.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, changed a Sacramento political tradition by adopting the unofficial title “first partner” instead of “first lady,” saying it’s more inclusive. The change reflected Siebel Newsom’s experience as an actress and filmmaker focused on gender politics and inequality.
But formalizing the shift in the sweeping way that Berkeley is doing is “remarkable and sends a message,” Rutgers University linguistics professor Kristen Syrett said.
“Anytime you’re talking about something where gender is not the issue but you use a gendered term, that immediately sends a message of exclusion, even if it’s a dialogue that has nothing to do with gender,” said Syrett, who recently spearheaded an update to the guidelines on inclusive language for the Linguistic Society of America.
For Hel Baker, a Berkeley home caregiver, the shift is a small step in the right direction.
“Anything that dismantles inherent bias is a good thing, socially, in the grand scheme of things,” the 27-year-old said.
“I don’t, by any means, think this is the great championing for gender equality, but you gotta start somewhere,” Hel added.
Lauren Singh, 18, who grew up in Berkeley, approved of the move, saying, “Everyone deserves to be represented and feel included in the community.”
Not everyone agreed with the new ordinance. Laramie Crocker, a Berkeley carpenter, said the changes just made him laugh.
“If you try to change the laws every time someone has a new opinion about something, it doesn’t make sense. It’s just a bad habit to get into,” Crocker said.
Crocker, 54, said he would like city officials to focus on more pressing issues, like homelessness.
“Let’s keep it simple, get back to work,” he said. “Let’s figure out how to get homeless people housed and fed. He, she, they, it — they’re wasting my time.”