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Zayn hadn’t been to a WWE show in Saudi Arabia since the company signed a deal to host premium live events there in 2018. Previously, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reported that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia did not want Zayn to be part of WWE’s events in the region due to his Syrian heritage, as Syrians were prohibited from entering Saudi Arabia. However, The Arab League reinstated the country’s membership in May.
For Zayn, his return was a special experience. Speaking on WWE After The Bell with Corey Graves, Zayn discussed his emotional trip to Saudi Arabia.
“It was a really, really, really heavy trip, to be honest,” Zayn said. “There was a lot that went into it. First of all, the fact that I haven’t been in a few years. I think the last time I was there was in 2016, in Dubai, possibly? So it’d been a little while, and I’d course, as you saw on the premium live event. All this to say, I’m Arabic, I’m Muslim, all this stuff, and that’s my part of the world. I understand those people, those are my people.
“So when I went there, I got to to go to Mecca, which is just a surreal experience. I also saw my uncles that I hadn’t seen in 25 years, I have cousins I haven’t seen in 25 years. I met my great-uncle that I didn’t even know existed. So it was pretty heavy in a lot of ways, it had a lot of weight.
Zayn continued by describing how it felt good to finally be the representative for a WWE show in Saudi Arabia, and he felt like it all came together naturally, given the lengthy Bloodline storyline.
“Then the actual event itself and the reception from the audience, it’s kind of what I’ve been waiting for in a while in a way because I always felt like I’m representative, I would have been the natural representative for those shows, and I just wasn’t,” Zayn said. “So it was good to finally be put in that position and in a main-event spot, opposite of Roman and Solo, and the story that’s kind of been carrying the company for a minute now. So it felt like it all just came together perfectly. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to go back. It was perfect.”
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