- By J. Dana StusterJ. Dana Stuster is an assistant editor at Foreign Policy. He has studied at the American University of Beirut and graduated in 2010 with degrees in English and International Relations from the University of California, Davis. Before coming to FP, his work appeared in the Atlantic and the National Interest, among other publications.
Take this with several grains of salt, but Kanye West, croissant enthusiast and self-professed “Steve [Jobs] of Internet, downtown, fashion, culture,” and Kim Kardashian, noted cultural ambassador to the Arab world, might be planning a special trip to promote unity and harmony in Egypt … between themselves. Yes, “Kimye” (this is a thing people actually call them) is talking about getting married in Egypt, or so an unnamed “friend” of the couple maybe told OK! Magazine in its latest issue. The news is now wending its way through news outlets in the Middle East.
According to OK!‘s source, Kardashian “likes how Katy Perry and Russell Brand got married in India with an Indian-themed wedding. She wants that.” As for why she settled on Egypt, “Kim thinks she’s the spitting image of Egyptian goddess Isis, so she has been talking about doing an Egyptian-themed wedding, at the pyramids.” (For your reference, that’s Isis on the left, Kardashian on the right.)
Besides the questionable cultural appropriation of an Egypt-themed destination wedding, there may be more immediate problems for Kimye’s nuptials. After all, they couldn’t have picked a worse week to float the idea of a Giza wedding. The U.S. embassy in Cairo has been advising tourists to stay away from the Great Pyramids for months now, warning of “angry groups of individuals surrounding and pounding on the vehicles — and in some cases attempting to open the vehicle’s doors.” And last week, as the Egyptian military ousted President Mohamed Morsy from office, the State Department asked “U.S. citizens to defer travel to Egypt and U.S. citizens living in Egypt to depart at this time because of the continuing political and social unrest,” citing the death of an American student at a protest in Alexandria on June 28.
OK!‘s source did not mention if the couple is considering alternative venues.
Marc Lynch is associate professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, where he is the director of the Institute for Middle East Studies and of the Project on Middle East Political Science. He is also a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. He is the author of The Arab Uprising (March 2012, PublicAffairs).
He publishes frequently on the politics of the Middle East, with a particular focus on the Arab media and information technology, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, and Islamist movements.| Marc Lynch |