WWE superstars show Saudi students how to wrestle with bullying

 The students and the wrestlers coming together for activities in the anti-bullying campaign, ‘Be A Star,’ at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium. (Supplied)
The students and the wrestlers coming together for activities in the anti-bullying campaign, ‘Be A Star,’ at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium. (Supplied)
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Updated 20 February 2022

WWE superstars show Saudi students how to wrestle with bullying

 The students and the wrestlers coming together for activities in the anti-bullying campaign, ‘Be A Star,’ at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium. (Supplied)
  • ‘Up to us’ to teach people how to deal with things, says Titus O’Neil

JEDDAH: WWE superstars on Friday showed Saudi students how to wrestle with bullying as part of their “Be A Star” campaign.

Around 60 girls and boys, from grades three to nine from Dar Al-Fikr School in Jeddah, got the chance to learn about loneliness and struggles from some of the toughest-looking people in the world.
The students arrived at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium and were greeted by a voice that perhaps every WWE fan would recognize in a heartbeat — Mike Rome, the announcer for wrestling bouts.
The superstars sharing their experiences were: Titus O’Neil, Natalya, Drew McIntyre, Bianca Belair, Liv Morgan, Nikki A.S.H, and Riddle.
Rome welcomed the wrestlers and the students, dividing them into three groups with two superstars each. The team had activities planned but these were not just for fun, they were there to teach children about different things and help them understand bigger themes in life.
The activities included team members introducing themselves and naming something they enjoyed when a ball of yarn was thrown at them. They would then pass it on to another student in the circle while holding on to the thread. By the end of the exercise they were all connected together, despite their different personalities.

HIGHLIGHTS

• Around 60 girls and boys, from grades three to nine from Dar Al-Fikr School in Jeddah, got the chance to learn about loneliness and struggles from some of the toughest-looking people in the world. 

• The superstars sharing their experiences were: Titus O’Neil, Natalya, Drew McIntyre, Bianca Belair, Liv Morgan, Nikki A.S.H, and Riddle.

After the activities, the WWE stars took turns in sharing their own personal struggles and how to deal with them.
They mentioned cyberbullying, what made them different and how being different was not a bad thing, how to deal with their negative emotions, and what to do if someone else was experiencing problems.
“Especially with cyberbullying, it doesn’t matter if you are in Jeddah or Texas there are people online that are saying and doing mean things,” O’Neil told Arab News. “It is up to us, people with a platform, to teach everyone how to deal with these things, how to manage their emotions.
“I always tell people, ‘Don’t take it personally if they don’t know you personally.’ There are a lot of people that would say stuff about you that is negative but they don’t even know you, they just know the television character, your name, or your social media handle.”
Nicola Glencross, who wrestles under the ring name Nikki A.S.H, shared her story with the students. “I had to deal with a lot of cyberbullying, people hated the mask I wore and the costume. If someone is bullying you there is always something you can do, you can talk to an adult, you can mute them.”
She also explained the psychology of the bully: “People need a response and I don’t give it to them, I am a superhero. I don’t need to deal with that.”
Rome asked who in the crowd was bullied. Some students raised their hands but all of the wrestlers did, showing the children that, despite the massive difference between them and their talent, there were similarities as well.
Natalya, whose real name is Natalie Katherine Neidhart-Wilson, told Arab News: “It’s important for the kids to see that we are all connected, we are really all alike. They may see us on television, and you know WWE is a global company and we are all around the world in 180 different countries and 30 different languages. For the kids to see us and see that they are on TV every week and they are just like us, it’s a very grounding experience for them to realize we are all relatable.”
She said that they had all been through hardships, bullying, and adversity. Another thing that Natalya wanted to help the children with was to regulate their emotions and deal with the problems they may face on their social media so they felt more equipped to combat the issues. “We want them to be able to stand up for themselves, to be strong and positive.”
The children left the venue feeling stronger and more positive than before. And, as for the stars themselves, they were buzzing with excitement for the upcoming event and for being back in Jeddah.
O’Neil said: “Jeddah is the place that made me famous. People here are so nice and kind. Coming here for the first time was a really eye-opening experience for me because you see all those stereotypical things on the news and then you actually come here and it is the exact opposite.”
Natalya said that she was honored to be part of one of the three women’s fights taking place in Saudi Arabia. “It’s a huge honor to be able to do that as a woman in WWE.”


French-Saudi agreements signal ‘beginning of new era of cooperation,’ says French ambassador

French-Saudi agreements signal ‘beginning of new era of cooperation,’ says French ambassador
Updated 01 October 2022

French-Saudi agreements signal ‘beginning of new era of cooperation,’ says French ambassador

French-Saudi agreements signal ‘beginning of new era of cooperation,’ says French ambassador
  • Saudi Arabia hosts 150,000 French speakers and 500 teachers of the French language in various institutions
  • French presence in the Kingdom is marked by a network of schools in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar

DUBAI: On the occasion of the launch of the new French Cultural Season in Saudi Arabia, French Ambassador to the Kingdom Ludovic Pouille hosted an evening celebrating French-Saudi cultural dialogue at the French Embassy in Riyadh.

“You make French culture present in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Pouille, addressing an audience of artists, entrepreneurs and officials.

The ambassador hailed the joint effort by France and Saudi Arabia to enable the success of cultural events in the Kingdom. “I want to thank our Saudi partners and friends, artists, professors, entrepreneurs and officials from the Saudi government for their contribution in strengthening on a daily basis our cultural relationship,” he added.

Among the participants were partners from the EU, Francophone countries, the Alliance Franҫaise d’Arabie Saoudite led by Zaher Al-Munajjed and the French Embassy’s team led by Catherine le Thomas.

Saudi Arabia hosts 150,000 French speakers and 500 teachers of the French language in various institutions. The French presence in the Kingdom is marked by a network of schools in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar, making education one of the primary elements on which the two nations collaborate.

 

 

As part of its Vision 2030, the Kingdom has initiated large-scale events enabling its development as a culture, education, tourism and sports hub on an international level. These events include Riyadh Season, Jeddah Season, AlUla Season, the Red Sea International Film Festival, the Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale and the upcoming Islamic Arts Biennale in Jeddah.

“We are all very lucky to live in a thrilling context in which Saudi Arabia is rapidly opening up and exploring new directions for its future. The Kingdom is now witnessing what President (Emmanuel) Macron called a ‘cultural revolution’ during his visit to Jeddah,” said the ambassador.

The new French Cultural Season in Saudi Arabia is a promising one, with events starting in October with the celebration of the 20th anniversary of French-Saudi cooperation in the field of archaeology. The event is a two-day symposium that will see the participation of the 15 French archaeological missions collaborating with Saudi archaeologists across the Kingdom in the Farasan Islands, Hegra and AlUla, among other locations.

The second event in the pipeline is “Digital November,” which is aimed at bringing art and technology together. A series of tournaments, workshops and other activities centered on esports and e-games will be featured.

Other cultural cooperation projects will involve music, cinema, fashion, design and poetry, with the annual Night of Poetry to be held in December.

Franco-Saudi cooperation is also evident through the Kingdom’s giga-projects — such as the development of AlUla — that will shape the country for decades to follow.

AfAlula, the French Agency for the Development of AlUla, is collaborating with the Royal Commission for AlUla to develop the region “based on an intergovernmental agreement signed in April 2018 during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to Paris,” Pouille said.

The AlUla project is the first of a series of initiatives that aim to reinforce the ties between the two countries.

Since the French president’s visit to Jeddah in December 2021, several agreements have been signed, including one for Villa Hegra, an ambitious institution of contemporary art that will enable the Kingdom to build a creative and artistic hub, the first of its kind in the Middle East.

The agreements signal the “beginning of a new era of cooperation between France and Saudi Arabia,” according to the ambassador.

This story originally appeared on Arab News en Français.


Saudi Border Guards seize 300 kilograms of narcotic hashish in Jazan 

Saudi Border Guards seize 300 kilograms of narcotic hashish in Jazan 
Updated 01 October 2022

Saudi Border Guards seize 300 kilograms of narcotic hashish in Jazan 

Saudi Border Guards seize 300 kilograms of narcotic hashish in Jazan 

RIYADH: Border guards in Saudi Arabia’s Jazan region have thwarted an attempt to smuggle 300 kilograms of narcotic hashish. 
Initial legal procedures have been completed and the drugs were seized and handed over to the relevant authority, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Saudi Arabia has been cracking down on attempts to smuggle drugs into and out of the Kingdom, with authorities saying they would continue to stop all attempts to put the public at harm.


Saudi ministry wins 2 communication awards in UAE

Saudi ministry wins 2 communication awards in UAE
Updated 01 October 2022

Saudi ministry wins 2 communication awards in UAE

Saudi ministry wins 2 communication awards in UAE
  • 53 candidates were shortlisted in 19 award classes

SHARJAH, UAE: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development won two accolades at the 9th Sharjah Government Communication Awards in the UAE.

The ministry scooped awards in the categories for best systems in government communication in the Arab world, and best government communication initiative to empower women globally.

Fifty-three candidates were shortlisted in 19 award classes, with the Saudi ministry recognized for the methodology used in the implementation of its projects, the impact and results achieved, the effective use of technology and media to reach target audiences, and its innovative and proactive visions.

The ministry’s assistant minister for shared services, Mohammed bin Nasser Al-Jasser, said the awards success was down to the hard work of employees.

He added that the ministry sought to create an effective communication media system capable of keeping pace with the rapid changes taking place in the sectors it supervised while responding to the digital transformation that had seen a transformation in government media over recent years.

 

 


Diriya Gate Development Authority launches project to encode Diriyah history in Braille

Diriya Gate Development Authority launches project to encode Diriyah history in Braille
Updated 01 October 2022

Diriya Gate Development Authority launches project to encode Diriyah history in Braille

Diriya Gate Development Authority launches project to encode Diriyah history in Braille
  • The project will help visually impaired people gain a deeper understanding of the history of Diriyah, the original home of the Saudi royal family

RIYADH:  The Diriyah Gate Development Authority has teamed up with the National Association of the Blind “Kafeef” to launch an initiative for the translation of Diriyah’s history into Braille.

The project will help visually impaired people gain a deeper understanding of Diriyah’s history.

Paper copies of the content printed in Braille will help strengthen participants’ emotional connection to their rich Saudi history and heritage.

The project reflects DGDA’s commitment to the visually impaired, and is aligned with the authority’s mandate to preserve and celebrate its culture and heritage.

The first part of the initiative runs until Oct. 15, and includes a course on Diriyah’s history for young men and women from “Kafeef.”

Supporting course materials were translated into paper and digital formats, including content on the year 850 — the year that Diriyah was established — as well as the At-Turaif district and the history of the First Saudi State.

Participants with the highest scores have since been selected to teach within the program itself, based on the level of their interest in Saudi history and their Braille skills.

DGDA is committed to working with “Kafeef” to provide support to participants, including paper and digital training materials, as well as lessons for registered participants, with an official certificate available on completion of the course.

The course is expected to foster a competitive, knowledge-based atmosphere that will help bolster the connection visually impaired individuals have to their heritage; strengthen their sense of belonging to their country’s past, present, and future; and instil a sense of community and collective investment in the country’s progress.

 

 


Saudi culture minister meets Jordanian, Iraqi counterparts at UNESCO meeting in Mexico

Saudi culture minister meets Jordanian, Iraqi counterparts at UNESCO meeting in Mexico
Updated 01 October 2022

Saudi culture minister meets Jordanian, Iraqi counterparts at UNESCO meeting in Mexico

Saudi culture minister meets Jordanian, Iraqi counterparts at UNESCO meeting in Mexico

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan on Friday held talks with his Jordanian counterpart, Haifa Najjar, on the sidelines of the UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies and Sustainable Development — Mondiacult 2022 in Mexico.
At the beginning of the meeting, Prince Badr congratulated Najjar on the Jordanian city of Irbid being chosen as the Arab Capital of Culture in 2022.
He also praised the success of the Jerash Festival for Culture and Arts, and thanked Najjar for the support in organizing the “Saudi Cultural Week” in Jordan from Spet. 12-15, stressing the depth of the relations that bind the two kingdoms, their governments and people.
During the meeting, they discussed ways to intensify and deepen cultural cooperation between their two countries in various cultural and artistic fields, exchange visits and establish cultural activities, and enhancing joint cooperation in preserving their antiquities and historical sites.
Prince Badr also met with Iraqi Minister of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities Dr. Hassan Nazim, where they praised the depth of the relations and stressed the importance of strengthening joint cultural cooperation.
The Saudi minister also praised the joint efforts between the Saudi-Iraqi work teams specialized in heritage, under the umbrella of the growing cooperation between the Kingdom’s Heritage Commission and the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, calling for more cooperation in all cultural fields.
During his meeting Malaysian Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Nancy Shukri, the two sides reviewed bilateral cultural relations and ways to develop cooperation and cultural exchange.
The Saudi minister also met Burkina Faso Minister of Communication, Culture, Arts and Tourism Valerie Kabore, where they discussed opportunities for cultural cooperation in the fields of crafts and folklore, artistic residency programs, seminars and events aimed at building capacities and introducing the cultures of the two countries.
He also held similar talks with his Chadian counterpart of the sidelines of the conference.