Editorial Page

Gheeda, First Pro Female Wrestler In The Arab World

You can watch a thousand documentaries on the building of Dubai’s Palm Islands and always come away amazed at how they did it and how they will maintain them.

It’s complicated is an understatement.

From the pouring of certain types of ecologically friendly sand to the building of a sea wall that is effective but not too high to obstruct a homeowners view, to ensuring the flow of fresh water so there is no stagnation smell to the feat of moving traffic from the mainland to the islands efficiently is the tip of the iceberg of the unbelievable innovation that has taken place to transform this once understated fishing village into one of the world’s great elite tourist destinations.

Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.……William Pollard

Innovation has also come to Dubai in the form of women’s wrestling; given the limitations on women’s options, this is probably a greater feat than getting approval for a creative and risky skyscraper to scratch the sky.

Dubai is also now being known for something else unique and innovative and that is being home to their first female professional wrestler; a sweet girl named Gheeda.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, tribune.com.pk photo
fciwomenswrestling.com article, tribune.com.pk photo

The well-respected website wsj.com reports, “Using the pseudonym Joelle Hunter, Gheeda Chamasaddine wears fishnet stockings, black boots and a leather jacket for her partially scripted matches. The 17-year-old student believes she is the first female pro wrestler in the Arab world.[adToAppearHere]

Ms. Chamasaddine is part of the 20-man Dubai Pro Wrestling Academy, a group of small-time smack down enthusiasts, which includes local Emiratis and expatriates from the Indian subcontinent, Europe and other parts of the Arab world.”

Like most in Dubai, Gheeda has extremely high life aspirations. One day she hopes to compete in the world famous WWE.[adToAppearHere]

The WWE has publicly stated it is aware of the cultural sensitivities of women wrestling in the Gulf region. It hasn’t put on a show with female wrestlers in the region yet. And while it offered a live show in conservative Saudi Arabia, only men were allowed to attend.

The well informed source tribune.com.pk adds, “Although it may not be the norm for a girl to be seen in the academy, Joelle attends training sessions three times a week where she learns moves such as the back breaker, the arm twister, and the clothes line.”

Gheeda is a perfect example that the world continues to evolve and the rights of women to expand closer to equality with men.

Most of us understand that innovation is enormously important. It’s the only insurance against irrelevance. It’s the only guarantee of long-term customer loyalty. It’s the only strategy for out-performing a dismal economy.……Gary Hamel
The Dubai Pro Wrestling Academy is enjoying a rise in popularity in the Middle East, thanks to the large local fan following of the WWE. The wrestling promotion firm has prioritized international expansion and the Gulf region has proved a successful frontier, according to Ed Wells, managing director for international operations at WWE.

Fans packed a stadium in Abu Dhabi previously to see WWE stars John Cena, Dolph Ziggler and Bad News Barrett wrestle for championship titles. Earlier the WWE launched 24 hour-programming in the Middle East and is considering Arabic-language content.

Tom Freston was one of MTV’s founding executives and until recently served as CEO of Viacom. Freston is responsible for the generation-defining ad campaign “I Want My MTV.”

Mr. Freston was quoted as also expressing, “Innovation is taking two things that already exist and putting them together in a new way.

Why don’t we fly by helicopter to the Palm Islands of Dubai?

fciwomenswrestling.com article, wikimedia photo
fciwomenswrestling.com article, wikimedia photo

Palm Islands are two artificial islands, Palm Jumeirah and Palm Jebel Ali, on the coast of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. As of November 2014, only Palm Jumeirah has been completed. This island takes the form of a palm tree, topped by a crescent. When complete, Palm Jebel Ali will take a similar shape; both islands will be host to a large number of residential, leisure and entertainment centers and will add a total of 520 kilometers of non-public beaches to the city of Dubai.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, wikimedia photo
fciwomenswrestling.com article, wikimedia photo

The Palm Islands are artificial islands constructed from sand dredged from the bottom of the Persian Gulf by the Belgian company, Jan De Nul and the Dutch company, Van Oord. The sand is sprayed from dredging ships, guided by a Global Positioning System, onto the required area. The spraying process is known as rain bowing because of the rainbow-like arcs produced in the air when the sand is sprayed. The outer edge of each palm’s encircling crescent is a large rock breakwater. The breakwater of the Palm Jumeirah contains over seven million tons of rock; each rock was placed individually by a crane, its position signed off by a diver, and given a Global Positioning System coordinate.

The respected news source ibtimes.com adds, “Frequently called the eighth wonder of the world, the Palm Islands of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates are the world’s largest artificial islands, each manmade into the shape of a palm tree.

In Dubai, where tourism is making it one of the fastest growing cities in the world, the Palm Islands are a popular travel destination. But only one of the three islands – the Palm Jumeirah, the Palm Jebel Ali and the Palm Deira — that make up the Palms is open to visitors.

Claiming the title of the largest manmade archipelago in the world, the Palm Islands can be seen from space. Each of them is shaped like a palm tree, but there are no actual palm trees there.”

The exciting site raynatours.com takes us on a different tour. “Palm Island is perhaps the most ambitious and unique of all mega real estate developments in Dubai, brimming with world class hotels and resorts, stunning beachfront villas, best in class dining establishments, marinas, water parks and shopping facilities. The brainchild of Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum and erected by Al Nakheel Properties off the Dubai’s coast, the Palm represents artificial group of islands that are categorized into three: Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Deira.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, wikimedia photo
fciwomenswrestling.com article, wikimedia photo

Occupying an area of about seven million square meters, the Palm holds the distinction of being the world’s largest man-made islands. Apart from these, there are many things that make this artificial archipelago a one-of-its-kind global vacation spot.”

Women’s wrestling is a global sport that is creating innovation around the world sometimes in places where we would least expect it.

Thanks to Jheeda’s courage and innovation, she has allowed us to take a closer look at the magical region of Dubai.

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Sources: brainyquote.com, Wikipedia, fciwomenswrestling2.com, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.














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