Jeddah hosts WWE’s biggest ever Battle Royal

Fifty World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstars packed Al-Jowhara Stadium at King Abdullah Sports City to almost full capacity Friday night for the Super ShowDown. (AN Photo/Essam Al-Ghalib)
Updated 08 June 2019
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Jeddah hosts WWE’s biggest ever Battle Royal

  • Saudi Arabia’s Mansoor Al-Shehail crowned champion of largest Battle Royale in WWE history
  • Billed as a family event, it was attended by people of all ages

JEDDAH: Fifty World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstars packed Al-Jowhara Stadium at King Abdullah Sports City to almost full capacity Friday night for the Super ShowDown and Battle Royal, held under the open skies.
As fireworks lit the night above the stadium, 50 wrestlers crammed into the ring for almost 25 minutes until there remained only one man standing, Saudi Arabia’s Mansoor Al-Shehail, who was crowned champion of the largest Battle Royal in WWE history.

“To represent the Kingdom around the world is amazing,” he said during a post-match interview. “To win the largest WWE Battle Royal in history is amazing. I can’t ask for anything better.”

Billed as a family event, it was attended by people of all ages. “It’s like a dream come true,” said Jabr Al-Rasheed, 17. “Ever since I was a child, I was watching WWE, and now live in front of me is every single wrestler that I love.”
For 10-year-old Faisal Al-Gosaibi, what made the night special was that he was able to enjoy it with his parents.

“I feel really good because my mom and dad are having fun with me and I like having fun with my family,” he said.
His brother Khaled shared the same sentiment, saying: “I really like it because I’m coming here with my family and we’re really having a good time and enjoying it.”


Equally enthusiastic were many adults in the crowd, who had been waiting for some time to attend a WWE event in the Kingdom.
“It’s amazing. It’s like a dream come true,” said Ava, who is in her 30s. “Whenever we used to watch WWE on TV, or any other country used to host it, we used to wonder why we can’t have it.”

Rashed Aseel, 36, said his 11-year-old son Ahmad “is a huge fan of wrestling, me not so much. It’s Ahmad’s birthday so I had to bring him, but I’m enjoying the father and son time we’re having together.”
Friday night’s event marked the WWE’s third in the Kingdom.

 


Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

Updated 26 June 2019
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Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

  • 40 works by Edvard Munch go on display for first time in Middle East

DHAHRAN: A dynamic Saudi cultural center is to showcase the works of one of the world’s most famous painters in an exhibition-first for the Middle East.

Forty pieces by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, best known for his iconic “The Scream” painting, will go on public display at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra).

The special exhibition, titled “Landscapes of the Soul,” is the latest in a series of high-profile cultural events to be staged at the showpiece exhibition in Dhahran.

Developed by Saudi Aramco with the aim of stimulating knowledge, creativity and cross-cultural engagement, Ithra’s theater, museum, exhibition hall and art gallery complex forms a key part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan to promote culture and entertainment.

The Munch exhibition, which runs until Sept. 3, portrays the artist’s personal life experiences of misery, love, despair, loneliness and reflections of the soul, through his distinctive works.

“It is such an honor to host and introduce to Saudi Arabia, and indeed, the Middle East, the work of the world-renowned artist Edvard Munch,” Rania Biltagi, Ithra’s head of communications and partnership, told Arab News.

Munch’s (1863-1944) original exhibition has been located in Oslo, Norway since 1963, and the Saudi display is being staged in Ithra’s Great Hall in partnership with the Munch Museum in Norway.

As well as a lithograph version of his most famous painting “The Scream,” other works on show will include “Summer Night. The Voice,” 1894, “Self-Portrait,” 1895, and “The Sick Child,” 1896.

“A moment that stood out from the opening was when speaking to a couple visiting the exhibit, they mentioned that they were Norwegian and working in Saudi,” Biltagi said. “They explained that they had never had the chance to visit the Munch Museum in their homeland and what an unexpected pleasure it was to be able to see Munch’s work in Saudi.”

Biltagi added that the event epitomized the aim of Ithra in providing a platform to bring together cultures as well as people.

The center, featured in Time magazine’s list of the world’s top 100 places to visit, is a pioneer on the Kingdom’s culture and arts scene, organizing a variety of events, performances, programs and experiences to suit all ages and backgrounds. Previous exhibitions have included a focus on Saudi contemporary art, Leonardo da Vinci, and installations symbolizing creativity and innovation.