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Mansoor – ‘For People In Saudi Arabia, Every Little Step Is A Big Deal’

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On a recent edition of Konnan’s “Keepin’ It 100” podcast, former WWE Superstar Mansoor discussed growing up in Saudi Arabia, the country’s recent changes to oppressive policies, and more.

Mansoor was released from his WWE contract in September 2023.

You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On being a wrestling fan growing up in the country: “Every kid in Saudi Arabia plays soccer — we call it football over there, that’s the national sport. Much like many countries, it’s kind of the only sport that matters. I was never that big of a fan. I was kind of the black sheep in that sense. I just loved wrestling, but there was no outlet for that. When I was really little all I could do was buy cheap rip-offs of the [WWE] pay-per-views, you could buy them for two bucks over there. So that’s how I watched all the pay-per-views.”

On his mother’s transition to living in Saudi Arabia: “Being told she couldn’t drive, she couldn’t go outside not wearing complete covering, the Abaya and the Hijab, was very difficult for her.”

On the changes in the country: “So much has changed, I see guys and girls going on dates, which is crazy to me. Because back in the day, I mean, I knew a guy who was taken in the back of a van and lashed because he was out with a girl he wasn’t related to… For people in Saudi Arabia, every little step is a big deal, and I know that because I lived there before all these steps were taken, and I have seen it after all these steps were taken. I think people who are expecting the totality of the culture to shift immediately are not really understanding just how difficult it is and how traditional and conservative Saudi society is. So, just the fact that women can drive and there is no punishment for taking a girl out, to me, is a huge leap forward.”

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