Royal Wedding: will raucous US in-laws out-sparkle Markle?

This April 30, 2018 photo shows students walking around campus at Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles. Meghan Markle, who is set to marry Prince Harry on May 19, graduated from the school in 1999. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Updated 14 May 2018
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Royal Wedding: will raucous US in-laws out-sparkle Markle?

  • The bride-to-be remains close with divorced parents Tom Markle and Doria Ragland but other relatives have been barred from the May 19 nuptials amid unwelcome stories of bust-ups, heavy drinking — and
  • Around the turn of the century, the future Duchess of Sussex was filmed as an aspiring teen actress by childhood friend Ninaki Priddy discussing her relationship with her father as they drove across L

LOS ANGELES: As Meghan Markle’s gown undergoes final adjustments for her wedding to Prince Harry, her gaffe-prone American family has been sending royal courtiers into a spin by airing its dirty laundry in public.
The bride-to-be remains close with divorced parents Tom Markle and Doria Ragland but other relatives have been barred from the May 19 nuptials amid unwelcome stories of bust-ups, heavy drinking — and even an arrest.
Markle, who grew up in the Los Angeles suburb of Woodland Hills, will be walked up the aisle by Tom, 73, an Emmy-winning Hollywood lighting director of Dutch-Irish descent who is enjoying retired life in Mexico.
Around the turn of the century, the future Duchess of Sussex was filmed as an aspiring teen actress by childhood friend Ninaki Priddy discussing her relationship with her father as they drove across LA.
“We aren’t going to go there,” she says on the video — posted to YouTube last year — as they near Tom’s Los Angeles home, before adding: “We aren’t on the best of terms.”
There has been a detente in the intervening years, however, with Markle publicly expressing her love for her father in an Instagram message in 2016 and declaring, “Your hugs are still the very best in the whole wide world.”
Markle’s introduction to Hollywood came thanks to her father, who would bring her daily to the set of ABC’s “General Hospital” and Fox sit-com “Married... with Children.”
“There I was, behind the scenes of a glossy soap opera and a TV sitcom, surrounded by famous actors and their glam teams, multi-million dollar budgets, and crew lunches that always included filet mignon,” Meghan wrote on her now-defunct blog, The Tig.
Tom reportedly put Markle through Hollywood’s most exclusive schools and the private Northwestern University in Illinois after winning $750,000 in the state lottery in 1990.
He met Harry in Toronto in mid-2016 and took to the prince immediately, describing him on a video obtained by British tabloid The Sun as “a gentleman.”
Markle’s mother, a 61-year-old African American yoga instructor and clinical therapist, met Tom while working as an assistant make-up artist at “General Hospital.”
The Ohio native has been through her own financial woes, according to the Daily Mail, which reported that she filed for bankruptcy in 2002 with assets of just $10,400 and credit card debts of $58,000.
“While my mixed heritage may have created a grey area surrounding my self-identification, keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that,” Markle wrote in a 2015 essay for Elle magazine about being biracial.
She and Prince Harry revealed in an interview with BBC they’d spent much time with Ragland ahead of their engagement. “Her mum’s amazing!” enthused Harry, who is sixth in line to the British throne.
There was speculation that Markle’s father would be left off the guest list after the American star barred estranged half-siblings Tom Jr and Samantha, Tom Sr.’s children from a previous marriage.
Tom Jr, 51, who lives in Oregon, was arrested in January on suspicion of holding a gun to his girlfriend’s head while drunk, although the charges were dropped and the couple got engaged.
The twice-divorced father-of-two says he and Meghan haven’t been close since she moved from LA to Toronto in 2011 to start work on legal drama “Suits.”
Relations are unlikely to have improved since Tom Jr sent Prince Harry a letter to call off the “fake fairytale wedding,” arguing that his half-sister was “obviously not the right woman” for the royal.
“As more time passes to your royal wedding, it became very clear that this is the biggest mistake in royal wedding history,” he said in the April 26 missive, which he shared with In Touch magazine.
He professed to be bored with Markle — “like a below C average Hollywood actress” — playing the part of princess and accused her of draining their father’s money until he went bankrupt in 2016.
Samantha, 53 — who lives in Florida and recently changed her surname from Grant to Markle — is said to have angered the Markle clan with the announcement that she was planning a tell-all book called “The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister.”
Other members of the extended family include Thomas Jr’s sons, Tyler, 27, and Thomas Markle III, who has berated his “crazy” father and aunt for their public feuding.
There is another half-nephew and an uncle, Tom Sr.’s older brother Frederick, who runs a Florida chapel that reportedly has little or no congregation.


Saudi annual event 'Ayam Zaman' teaches younger generation the customs and traditions of days gone by

Ayam Zaman is an annual event that creates the old Ramadan atmosphere through the design of the place and the food and art exhibition. AN photo by Iqbal Hossain
Updated 22 May 2018
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Saudi annual event 'Ayam Zaman' teaches younger generation the customs and traditions of days gone by

  • Ayam Zaman, or “Old Days,” is an annual event that is usually held during the holy month
  • The event is sponsored by many companies such as STC, PEPSE, and Al-Faridah Hall

RIYADH: Parents always talk about the old days, and how “old is gold.” They start their conversations with the phrase “Back in the old
days …”

Today we get to live these old days in the Ayam Zaman’s event, held in Al-Faredah Hall in Riyadh from May 19-22.  The event started on the third day of Ramadan, and is one of the many events happening during the holy month.
Ayam Zaman is a place where the older generation can retrieve their memories and the younger generation can enjoy the customs and traditions in their original form but in a modern way.
Ayam Zaman, or “Old Days,” is an annual event that is usually held during the holy month, creating the old Ramadan atmosphere through the design of the place, the food, art exhibition and Ramadan products such as clothes, fragrance perfume and accessories.  It also holds the classic cinema for the first time in Saudi Arabia. It is a social development entertainment event that brings together heritage and modern innovations to support Saudi sm all enterprises through the booths represented there.

 

A young participant called Noura Alkhalel, a pharmacy student who is also an artist, told Arab News about her company “Adaptive Pieces” and how she and her sister came up with the concept to serve a younger audience. She said: “The idea of the company is to sell unique art pieces for everyone, especially the younger audience who cannot afford to buy art at their original prices.”  Asked how she ended up in Ayam Zaman, she said; “The Ayam Zaman event found us. No matter how many times Ayam Zaman do events, I’m pretty sure we will be part of it because it’s how we launched ourselves and we feel very grateful to it.”   
Ibrahim Al-Juwar, an architect at Clear Spectra, one of the “mindmakers” of this event, told Arab news: “The event’s idea is to tell the story of our lives today by bringing back our old culture and traditions, and that is how it is reflected through the designs of the booths and the outdoor settings.”
He said: “The event will be a great place for the family to chill and entertain themselves, watching live performances and allowing themselves to participate in Ramadan games.”
The event is sponsored by many companies such as STC, PEPSE, and Al-Faridah Hall. STC’s booth had a children’s arts section where they can express their artistic talents.
The concept of Garge’aan is strongly emphasized during the event with children roaming around the hall singing songs and collecting sweets and candy.
There is a separate zone for children to play in and have fun. The children’s zone includes bouncing castles, arcade games and entertainment shows.
Ibrahim said: “The kids’ zone is a little separated from the adults’ sections so that the parents can enjoy themselves.”  
The event is created by a Saudi group, who worked hard on designing and shaping the identity of the event to make it a reality. Many talented female designers also participated in the event.  Ibrahim told Arab News that there will be more events, especially during Eid and for the national day.

FACTOID

The event is created by a Saudi group, who worked hard on designing and shaping the identity of the event to make it a reality.