A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The "G-Word": God Help Me, the Pope and Kim Kardashian (!) Agree on Something (and Barack Obama is Hedging)

Let's be clear. I have never seen Keeping Up With the Kardashians. I do not understand why, other than certain physical attributes and a notorious videotape, Kim Kardashian is famous or rich. I know more about the Cardassians on Star Trek than the Kardashians.

I also never thought I would begin a sentence with "Like Pope Francis, Kim Kardashian ..." but I am, in fact about to do so.

Here goes: Like Pope Francis, Kim Kardashian is not afraid to use the "G-word" for the Armenian massacres, but Barack Obama remains unwilling.

I'll probably catch flak from Turkish readers, but tomorrow is Armenian Remembrance Day, and the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians, large numbers of Assyrians, Anatolian and Pontic Greeks, and other minorities is a human tragedy of the first order. The Turkish Republic's persistent refusal to accept the term "genocide" has always struck me as a bit puzzling: why not just say "that was the Ottomans, not us"?

Anyway, as this website notes, "One of the world's most influential figures focused media attention on the Armenian Genocide of 1915 last week. The pope talked about it, too."

Kardashian, of course, is of Armenian origin and apparently is very popular in Yerevan. 

More tomorrow, on the anniversary of "Red Sunday."

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