Category Archives: Life In KSA

How Bad Was WWE Crown Jewel?

Although I don’t write the blogs on the World Wrestling Entertainment because I don’t follow that much. I am more focused on watching pay-per-view (PPV) events. I am not able to watch Raw and Smackdown episodes because of the sharp difference of timings between the US and Saudi Arabia. After what I watched the PPV event called WWE Crown Jewel, I am thinking about writing a blog on this terrible episode of nuisance and figuring out the points due to the fact I find this show the worst PPV I have ever watched.

1. BAD POLITICAL INFLUENCE

The globally infamous killing of a Saudi journalist ignited the worldwide audience to push towards the cancellation and not to step a foot in the name of the entertainment until the political crisis between the countries over the subject is clear. There was a strong rumor of the postponement which meant the continuity of the stories running in the weekly episodes of Raw and SmackDown may have to alter in haste and their 10-year deal with General Sports Authority (GSA) was in jeopardy. But somehow this show went on and most of the global fan following couldn’t believe that the event was still on the cards. Result? The PPV event went controversial all over.

2. VENUE & CROWD

People living in the capital will agree to the fact that the ideal venue for such a massive event should have been their ‘Pearl of Stadiums’, King Fahd International Stadium holding the rich capacity of over 68,000 spectators. The sudden change in plans within a month downsized the highly expected lively environment when the show moved to King Saud University Stadium which has approximately 25,000 seats to offer.

Due to the drastic change in the numbers, the electrifying environment was numbed. Many stage entrances had no deserving roar. People in the VIP seats were the most boring and disappointing faces who sat idle and showed no enthusiasm for the event. Many times, the VIPs didn’t bother to stand on their feet and notice who was thrown to the floor from the ring. As much animating and exhilarating was the crowd in Jeddah when the Greatest Royal Rumble was staged in front of over 60,000 spectators, the outcome in the Riyadh show was on the contrary.

3. JOHN CENA & DANIEL BRYAN OUT

Both, John Cena and Daniel Bryan, are currently the biggest faces of the WWE. People love and adore them. Their refusals to the event meant that Cena-Bryan followers in the KSA had to down their plans and take the whole scenario to the other theoretical dimensions. Cena and Bryan were officially removed from the event and were replaced by Bobby Lashley and Samoa Joe respectively. Cena’s refusal was more of a worrying sign as he widely praised and considered an honor and privilege to compete in the KSA during the Greatest Royal Rumble.

4. WORLD CUP?

The concept of the World Cup is not highly marketed or recognized in the North American region due to the immense popularity of their big 4 i.e., NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL. So when this concept dropped on the cards, it sounded bizarre. A ‘WORLD’ Cup between eight men? Not buying at all. The writers could have forwarded many better proposals than this. With the weight of the name, the writers could have focused only on the tournament in this PPV event and added numerous wrestlers in an expanded knockout phase instead of starting from the quarterfinals.

5. SHANE MCMAHON – THE BEST IN THE WORLD?

And guess what, the stupidity didn’t end with bringing the idea of a World Cup, the stupidity earned its vulnerable reputation when the tournament ended with the SmackDown commissioner Shane McMahon winning the trophy. The man who didn’t even compete in the whole tournament decided to replace The ‘injured’ Miz during the final against Dolph Ziggler. This was like ruining a party. Even if The Miz had won by cheating, may have some average responses from the viewers but seeing Shane taking the trophy was the mockery to the competition they were referring for so many weeks. McMahon Jr. celebrated throughout the arena with the trophy and the crowd responded with low esteem.

How dumb can be the writing of a WWE episode? This reminded me Braun Strowman, after all the suspense, picking a 10-year-old kid his partner in this year’s WrestleMania. Or Vince Russo destroying WCW.

6. LESNAR AGAIN?

Brock Lesnar‘s extreme irregularity in WWE has caused wide criticism in a past few years and has raised many eyebrows over the hype of his sustaining the Universal Championship belt for that long. The complaint is just and in the storyline, viewers did get rid of him when Roman Reigns defeated him in this year’s SummerSlam. A triple threat match was scheduled in Crown Jewel between Braun Strowman, Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns but then Reigns himself announced a legitimate diagnosis of leukemia. Therefore, he had to relinquish the belt within two weeks to start Crown Jewel.

Another sad news? Actually no because the audience was done with The Big Dog with lack of interest in showing up in most of the PPV as a part of the main event. His rivalry with an irregular Lesnar was booed.  So it became a singles match for the Universal Championship title. With Lesnar’s reign stretched to 504 record days, there was no need to win Brock another title.

The beast who offers nothing but suplexes and F5s used a similar method on Braun Strowman and won the match within 5 minutes. And once again, Lesnar and Strowman didn’t get a better contest. Making Lesnar repeatedly win shows that the showrunner and the writer are not listening to the criticism. They are adamant to make the same mistakes again and again.

7. SHAWN MICHAELS’ COMEBACK

For all these eight years, HBK maintained his words to not come out of retirement after losing to The Undertaker in the Wrestle Mania. It was, in my opinion, a sorry departure after losing the Streak v Career match. And it was a fitting farewell. HBK showed up many times in the ring afterward. Even gave sweet chin music a few times but didn’t return until the unnecessary drama at the MCG ignited for a showdown between the two extremely beloved tag teams of the Attitude era, The Brothers of Destruction and DX.

The MCG match between The Undertaker and HHH was supposed to be the final encounter between them but the writers had something else in their minds to annoy the fans. The legacy which ended with HHH beating The Undertaker at the MCG didn’t need to expand the script to shape it like a soap opera.

The timing of HBK’s return was extremely bad. The writers could have preferred to make HBK’s return in the next year’s WrestleMania for a revenge match and possibly end their careers on a high. Seeing HBK was a nostalgia as WWE’s business is nowadays relying on nostalgic matches and appearances.

HBK’s iconic sexy-boy image has aged, the guy is 53 now. Further disturbing was watching a bald Shawn Michaels who always sported long hair. He cut his pony and then shaved his head this year. Being a huge fan of HBK, I am not convinced of his return.


I am not convinced with the stories that are extended in the continuities. The creativity in the writing has met a severe low. I hope this does not repeat again. WWE Crown Jewel was a massive disappointment. The only thing which was impressive about the event was fireworks. PPV event will possibly return next year back in Jeddah on April. Hope to be better than this.

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Dazed and Confused

GLOBAL MUSLIMS

“Saudi Arabia! Learn from UAE. See how they improve their living standard, enhance opportunities, provide social entertainment, invest money in public interests and recreation activities. When will you join the other countries this millennium? You don’t even let women drive on the roads. How backward you are? Grow up!”

SAUDI ARABIA

“Alright alright! We will allow women to drive but will allow them to drive by next year because we have to establish driving facilities for the women and train them first. Also, we will try our best to adopt general measures to avoid traffic accidents. We will further allow women to work in the shops and offices, even on stalls, fairs and as cashier too.
Let’s add some entertainment for your amusement. We will decide to bring WWE wrestlers including John Cena and Big Show for your best luxury because most of you are fond of wrestling. But our sincere apologies, we will not add wrestling divas, we cannot go that far. I hope you understand.


In addition, considering your enthusiasm in comics, we will plan to stage a globally recognized international convention like Comic-Con. No no no you can wear costumes and fashion accessories in love of your favorite characters. Yes, you can become cosplayers. And don’t worry, we will invite well-known celebrities who will mesmerize you all. You will have the moment to meet and greet them, shake hand and even take a selfie with them. 
This is just a beginning, and we do realize how music has been a significant part of our culture. So we will treat our locals to listen and watch the performance of their favorite, Mohammad Abdu, to your cities. We will experiment some other musical interest in the future. How about Jazz music? We can organize that for you in an industrial city. And how about inviting the world-famous musicians? We can start from Yanni and bring the musical phenomena of team Yanni near to your cities. Why not? We can bring him and his team.


Indeed all you people are fond of watching the Western and Arab films but do you know that our Saudi people are not behind of cinematic talent. There are many talented filmmakers and actors. We shall consider organizing film festivals and bring theatres close to you.

We never focused on attracting tourists to enrich our history and culture before. Like other countries, we are not behind in attracting the tourists and we will earn the global reputation. We do realize there are numerous sites which can attract millions of visitors. Let’s work on few of these. We will invest heavy money in such places. If things work as per the plan we will begin issuing tourist visas too. Just wait and see.”

GLOBAL MUSLIMS

“Astaghfirullah bro! How can you allow women to drive the car? This will bring fitna and raise the opportunity for gender mixing. The woman will have every chance to drive by herself all alone which will lead the men’s society to stare her and raise concerns about the reasons for her driving.

She will be at ease to hang out with other girls (or maybe boys) and walk on the streets like stray dogs.

Students at Effat Women’s University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 2009; photograph by Olivia Arthur from her 2012 book, Jeddah Diary

No need to let them step out of home for huh work? Why does she want to work when her brother, father, and husband is earning? What could be the reason for going out for ‘work’? And what kind of ‘work’ does she want to do? They should stay at home, learn to cook food, produce offsprings, teach their children and obey every word what her husband or parent wishes or commands.
How can you consider inviting kuffar and their inventions to the holy country? Wrestling discourages peace and encourages viewers to fight. So what if you didn’t invite wrestling divas due to the obvious reasons as hellfire is already approved on them, the male wrestlers also promote nudity and shamelessness.


Comic books lead the readers towards mental illness and make them think and develop a theory that superheroes actually exist. By believing the fictional heroes, they will stop believing in our beloved messengers, their message and the true warriors of Islam. Do you know there are nauzubillah (I seek refuge in Allah) so many Gods in comics? How can you let them wear improper dresses and make them shake hands of the famous kuffar people? May Allah guide you.


Music? The voice of Shaitan? The world is near to end. Oh, Muslim Ummah! Do you know you are fulfilling the needs of Western countries? Do you know you are inviting evil by encouraging people to listen to their music? Seems like you have lost your credibility as a Muslim country.


You should realize that they are enemies of Islam and by investing your money in advertising their culture and fashion, we will be manipulated and one day they will occupy our holy land. They will marry our Muslim women and produce offsprings who will tweet/retweet their false religion. Auzubillah Auzubillah. May Allah have mercy and guide you to the right path. Amen.”

 

SAUDI ARABIA

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Skirting the Ushaiger

I happen to notice a small fire in the woods by a few scores of lumberjacks in the forest where I live as an expatriate. This is an incident occurred in the heritage village of Ushaiger which is situated 200 km from Riyadh. Ushaiger is one of the oldest towns in the Najd region. According to social media and few websites including Okaz, a model named Khulood walked the village in a short dress breaking the strict dress code implemented by laws in the Kingdom.
Although I see nothing wrong with a girl wearing a short skirt and traveling to any sites (besides religious places). But I have to forward few of the points towards the incident happened in the heritage village.
 
1) KSA’s strict dress code on women has to be applicable and under such law, she should be treated as per the law. And let me clarify that this is not my opinion.
 
2) Like seriously, who wear short skirts on historic places??? This is absolutely silly and beyond any common sense! Tourists in Arab countries like KSA and Jordan wear track suits, track pants, long shorts etc. Even the female Westerners travel to such places wearing an abaya (loose over-garment) to maintain the dress code as per the law.
 
3) The reactions on the social media sites are mixed. Some have demanded to arrest her or kicking her out of the country. Few considered her act as brave and there is some number of people who consider it welcoming with freedom of expression. Those who want to read the reactions on Twitter can hashtag with the name Ushaiger in Arabic.
In a country where the women are not allowed to drive, the coming years can meet the demands of change and accept the freedom of expressing. But will take a lot of time to accept this.
 
Being a staunch supporter of personal freedom, my opinion is that the local sharia laws have to cut loose the grip, ease the environment and make it welcoming. There was a time back in the 80s and 90s when the ladies in the Kingdom have to hide their hair and wear plain abayas. Now it has become a fashion and has nothing to do with the religion. Gender mixing is already seen in the public places. So the social environment is not to be confused with Islamic principles. You cannot judge on the basis of the dress if the lady is provoking and abusing her religion or if she is a Muslim or not. What about the mannequins in the shopping malls displaying much shorter dress than the one in this incident?
 
What happened in this incident was a silly display of show-off but this act will raise a lot of eyebrows on the Ifs and Why-Nots across the Kingdom.
Follow me on TWITTER @saminaik_asn

Hankering in the Wrong Queue

Click the link above and read the article. This news is presenting the precise situation of the construction of depressed multinational circumstances in an economy struggling to escalate employment opportunities among the citizens in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
 
University Of Business and Technology (UBT) organized a job fair where 40 companies offered some 3000 employment and training opportunities. To utilize the chance, Saudis, as well as expats, reached the door knocking but while they entered and arrived at the fair, the non-Saudi job applicants realized that the offers were limited to the Saudis only.
UBT didn’t bother to mention in their event program that only Saudis will be considered for the jobs. Result? 1000 non-Saudis or expats showed up who were eager to work with the recruiting companies within 48 hours! 48 hours!!! I didn’t witness the show but like other readers and observers, imagine the peak of misunderstanding. The non-Saudi candidates would have been in the queue and when their turns finally have come, they would have been immediately rejected or informed on their faces that they are not entertaining the offer to you expats! Now read their faces and do the maths yourself. After this, the expats would have become a hurdle or an obstacle on the path of job-seeking Saudis going towards the recruiters. 
 
With the growing tensions among the expats who are students or seeking jobs, this event can be observed in many ways:
 
1. There is a tremendous demand of expats from the field of business & technology who are willing to join and boost the economy. If one job fair can unintentionally fetch 1000 CVs in total from two different companies then imagine the total numbers.
 
2. At the very same time and location, 4000 Saudis are reported to show up which again shows how much is there a potential to generate the economic measures.
 
3. The article repeatedly records that the representatives of the recruiting companies in the job fair were ‘surprised’ and ‘shocked’ to see so many expats applying for the job. Their state of getting shocked and surprised is the sign of negligence and ignorance which falters the people responsible in the ministries and the administrations that they fail to notice/observe that the sweat and the blood of the expats are playing the most dynamic role in the economic progress of the country.
 
4. Another very important point which should be in focus after being surprised and shocked, most of the developed and developing countries who progress in their economy, do not consider the color, race, religion and the country where the job seeker belongs to. Because the candidates of any diversity are welcome to join the firm, considering the impression that they will benefit the company and the economy of the country overall. And that is how the teamwork is done.
 
Considering or prioritizing one national over the other in KSA or any part of the world builds disputes and rifts, brings cultural and ethnic misunderstanding, causes depression and theorizes a protest for the justice. Ignoring an individual on his/her nationality instead of considering his/her qualification, experience, work efficiency and compatibility will always bring a wrong impression. How would an expat aim to stay in the kingdom and think for the goodness if he/she is rejected for his/her not being a Saudi? And if being Saudi is must then the nationality should be granted after a minimum stay of 5 Islamic or Gregorian years. There are thousands and thousands of cases where an expat like me is born and raised here. On my 33rd year, a guy like me, after all the life spent here, is clueless about his future after reading and listening all the rules and observing the tensions created by those rules for the expats.
 
That is not how the country is led by prioritizing the locals and completely ignoring the expats or firing them from the jobs. A wrong example is created globally to the observers because of most of the people in America, Europe, Australia or even in India, are working and studying together as a job seeker who is eager to fulfill his/her dream/ambition to become something and a student who is aiming high with no distinction and divergence.
 
5. With the state of being shocked and surprised also indicates the hatred when one stated in the article, “We don’t know how they got in and who let them in”. This sounds like if the organizers forgot to fix the notice board outside the job fair that “No Beggars And Dogs Are Allowed”. Shoo Expat! Shoo!
 
Being born and bred here in this country, being a son of my city, Jeddah, I advocate for the employment of the Saudi men and women who hold a lot of promises in their chosen fields. I do wish that the citizens, like the expats, should boost the economy by their contribution. But but but not by cutting or firing the expats from their jobs to replace us with the Saudis but by creating employment opportunities, so the citizens and the expats can together help and stabilize the economy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
 
May Lord bless the King and the Kingdom. Amen.

I AM SAMI NAIK