Kim Kardashian comments on Syria: Armenian reality TV star takes break from selfies to pledge support to #SaveKessab campaign

The reality TV star takes a break from posting selfies to take part in geopolitical debate. Sort of.

What’s on your mind after reading that headline?

“Oh, God, what on earth has she said now,” is highly likely. Or perhaps you’re asking, “Can she even point out where Syria is on a map?” or even “Has she mistaken Kessab for an exotic designer beauty brand?”

But love or loathe Kim Kardashian, the reality TV star has taken a break from her usual social media fodder of selfies, belfies and pictures of North West to pass comment on the ethically controversial Syrian civil war.

OK. So not a particularly in depth one. But a rare word on a geopolitics none-the-less.

Kardashian’s three-tweet series made what appears on the surface to be a simple appeal for the citizens of the Syrian town of Kessab, which has seen fighting intensify over the last couple of days.

Until very recently, Kessab was a stronghold for Bashar al-Assad, the Damascus dictator.

 

And while she wasn’t the only household name to lend her influence to #SaveKessab, the cause is one that is closer to her than most because of her Armenian background.


The  Kardashian family originate from Karakale, which is a village in East Turkey, close to the Armenian border and largely populated by ethnic Armenians.

A number of her relatives, including her great grandfather and great-great grandparents, were forced to flee their homes during the Armenian genocide in the years after World War 1.

The events that unfolded in Syria last week reminded many – presumably including Kardashian – of the plight of the Armenian people in the 1900s.

Syrian rebels advanced into the northwestern coastal province of Latakia, which is the ancestral home of the Assad family. The rebels included a number of hardline fighters from Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian franchise of al-Qaeda.

Since then, there have been several clashes between the rebel fighters and loyalists to the Assad regime in Kessab, which has prompted the flight of hundreds of Armenian Christians to Latakia.

Kessab has since been overtaken by the rebels.

Her backing of #SaveKessab has therefore received a mixed reaction from her followers. On the one hand, her passive involvement has been praised by the Syrian National Coalition.

“We are glad Kim Kardashian is taking an interest in this issue, as we too are concerned about extremist groups’ persecution of minorities,” a spokesperson for the group told The Daily Beast.

“The Free Syrian Army has put out a statement committed to protecting of citizens of Armenian descent and to maintaining the integrity of their religious sites and protecting them from the Assad's attacks and use of indiscriminate fire, which continue against innocent people.”

On the other, she - along with hundreds who succeeded in getting the hashtag trending worldwide - was criticised for promoting what some claim to be part of a stealth moment to support the Assad regime, using fake images of conflicts dating back to 2012 to exaggerate the extent of the fighting in the area:

Read More: British Fighters In Syria Urge Others To Join Them
Robert Fisk On Syria - 'Unusually, The Rebel Army Took Prisoners'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Project Manager (Procurement & Human Resources)

Unpaid: Cancer Research UK: If you’re a professional in project management, lo...

Geography Teacher

£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: We require a teacher of Geogr...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices