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.


The ethical gold rush: Gilded age for guilt-free jewelry

Updated 21 April 2019
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The ethical gold rush: Gilded age for guilt-free jewelry

  • Specialized producers now tack a “fairmined” ecologically friendly label on their output
  • Swiss house Chopard last year became the first big name to commit to “100 percent ethical” creations

PARIS: Forget how many carats — how ethical is your gold? As high-end consumers demand to know the origin of their treasures, some jewellers are ensuring they use responsibly sourced, eco-friendly or recycled gold.
Specialized producers now tack a “fairmined” ecologically friendly label on their output, and the Swiss house Chopard last year became the first big name to commit to “100 percent ethical” creations.
The Geneva-based firm, which makes the Palme d’Or trophy for the Cannes Film Festival, says it now uses only verified suppliers of gold that meet strict standards to minimize negative environmental impacts of mining the precious metal.
Among the many certificates and standards claiming to codify “responsible” goldmining, two labels stand out.
They are “fairmined” gold — a label certified by a Colombian NGO — and the more widely known “fairtrade” label launched by Swiss foundation Max Havelaar.
Both support artisanal mines that seek to preserve the environment in terms of extraction methods, along with decent working conditions and wages for the miners.
Such production remains limited — just a few hundred kilograms annually. Global gold output by comparison totals around 3,300 tons.
Concerned jewellers are keen to ensure they can trace the source of their entire supply to an ethical production cycle and to firms certified by the not-for-profit Responsible Jewellery Council, which has developed norms for the entire supply chain.
RJC members must adhere to tough standards governing ethical, human rights, social and environmental practices across the precious metals industry.
The French luxury group Kering, which says it has bought more than 3.5 tons of “responsibly produced” gold since 2015 for its Boucheron, Pomellato, Dodo and Gucci brands, has committed to 100 percent use of “ethical” gold by 2020.
“We are trying to maximize the proportion of Fairmined and Fairtrade gold — but their modest production is in great demand so the bulk of our sourcing remains recycled gold, (which is) certified ‘RJC Chain of Custody’,” says Claire Piroddi, sustainability manager for Kering’s jewelry and watches.
Fairmined or Fairtrade gold is “about 10 to 12 percent more expensive. But recycled gold barely generates any additional cost premium,” Piroddi told AFP, since it was already refined for a previous life in the form of jewelry or part of a high-tech product.
Going a step further, using only precious metal from electronic or industrial waste is an original idea developed by Courbet, a brand launched just last spring.
“We do not want to promote mining extraction or use recently extracted gold, so we sought suppliers who recycle gold used in graphics cards or computer processors. That’s because we know today that more than half of gold’s available reserves have already been extracted,” says Marie-Ann Wachtmeister, Courbet’s co-founder and artistic director.
She says the brand’s watchwords are ethical and environmental consciousness.
“In a mine, a ton of terrain might contain five grams of gold, whereas a ton of electronic waste might generate 200 grams,” Wachtmeister says.
“Clients are also demanding an ecological approach more and more — they are aware of their day-to-day impact and consider the origin of what they wear,” she adds.
“The issue of supply really resonates with the public at large,” adds Thierry Lemaire, director general of Ponce, a jewelry firm that was established in Paris’s fashionable Marais district in 1886.
The company is RJC-certified and uses only recycled gold.
“There is a logic to that — if we want to do our work well, then let’s go the whole hog and respect nature. That can be done today because the entire chain has become standardised.
“Studios such as ours that work for major names on Place Vendome are all certified,” Lemaire says, referring to an upscale square in Paris.
He represents the fifth generation of family firm Ponce, which produces 45,000 gold rings a year from recycled gold.
Working in a pungent atmosphere of heated metal, refiners sit hunched over polishing machines, a large leather hide slung over their knees to catch the tiniest shaving.
“Every Friday, we have a great clearout and go over the workshop with a fine-tooth comb to pick up little bits of (gold) dust and shavings,” Lemaire says.
“Nothing is lost, it’s a truly virtuous chain.”