- By Sulome Anderson<p> Sulome Anderson is a recent alumna of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and a feature writer with the Daily Star, an English-language newspaper in Beirut. </p>
Paris Hilton, darling of tabloid papers and the star of a notorious sex tape, has opened a new store in the most bizarre of locales: the Islamic holy city of Mecca. What could go wrong?
"Loving my beautiful new store that just opened at Mecca Mall in Saudi Arabia!" Hilton tweeted on Nov. 14, causing disgruntled tweeps to engage in a heated discussion about the implications of the starlet’s decision to open her store in a city that is considered the holiest site in Islam.
"R u kidding?" was one person’s response, while others commented on the absurdity of such a controversial female celebrity marketing her goods in a country where women aren’t permitted to drive cars. Here are some more reactions posted by folks on Twitter:
— Nancy (@NancykKhurana) November 19, 2012
NO JOKE: Paris Hilton store just opened at Mecca Mall! O, ’tis most sweet,When in one line two crafts directly meet- parishilton.com/loving-my-beau…
— Hussein Ibish (@Ibishblog) November 17, 2012
Shiite Muslims considered infidel Officially in Saudi Arabia and not welcome in kingdom But Paris Hilton’s new storein Mecca gets welcome.
— Syed Haider (@haiderworld) November 18, 2012
— arabist (@arabist) November 17, 2012
So Paris Hilton opened a handbag store in MECCA? The world is a corrupt place at the moment. Someone please send me to Mars.
— Brown Power Ranger (@OfficialEtty) November 19, 2012
Hilton has tried her hand at many careers, with varying success, including acting and singing. However, her notoriety has helped her fashion brand triumph in the global marketplace. The Mecca store is Hilton’s fifth in Saudi Arabia, bringing the grand total of Paris Hilton shops to 42. "So proud to keep growing my brand!" Hilton tweeted. The store will sell perfumes, handbags, and footwear, along with other items in the hotel heiress’s fashion line.
One thing’s for certain — it seems doubtful that Hilton will be invited to Saudi Arabia to promote the opening of her new store. She might have some problems with the dress code.
Daniel W. Drezner is professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a senior editor at The National Interest. Prior to Fletcher, he taught at the University of Chicago and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Drezner has received fellowships from the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Harvard University. He has previously held positions with Civic Education Project, the RAND Corporation, and the Treasury Department.| Daniel W. Drezner |