Kim Kardashian, her rapper husband Kanye West and their baby North West arrive in the Armenian capital, the ancestral home of the U.S. television personality.
YEREVAN, ARMENIA (APRIL 8, 2015) (A1+) – The arrival of American reality star Kim Kardashian and her entourage stirred up a media frenzy in the Armenian capital on Wednesday (April 8).
Dozens of journalists and paparazzi staked out at Zvartnots Airport on Wednesday evening to cover the start of the American celebrity’s visit to her ancestral homeland, accompanied by her rapper husband Kanye West, baby daughter North West and sister Khloe Kardashian.
The sunglasses-clad Kardashian clan was presented upon arrival with bread and salt, a traditional Armenian custom expressing hospitality and welcome to the guests, before leaving for their hotel in a minivan.
There was heavy security presence outside the Marriott hotel in Yerevan, where hundreds of fans waited to catch a glimpse of the famous U.S. stars.
“I like her because she is one of my best, beloved top models. She is very stylish, I like the way she is wearing (clothes), I don’t know. I am so excited!” exclaimed a young Armenian woman.
“She is a very famous celebrity, she has millions of fans. In Facebook and other social media, maybe there are tens of millions of people, not Armenian (who follow her). If they get informed about genocide, what and who we are, what happened to us, I think it will have a positive impact anyway,” stated a middle-age man in the crowd.
Others came to show support for Kim Kardashian’s other half.
“Because I love Kanye West, we are from Sydney, Australia, and we came all the way to see Kim and we are really happy, we are really excited. And Kanye West, love his music,” said a young man.
Khloe Kardashian, also a popular reality star, kept her fans updated on the trip via social media.
“The love and welcoming to Armenia has been overwhelmingly beautiful!!! I wholeheartedly, can’t believe all of you Angels who are outside our hotel with flowers and smiles,” reads the caption on a photo on her Instagram account.
According to USA Today, Kim’s representative Ina Treciokas said the Kardashians’ pilgrimage to Armenia is a long-planned family trip and will include a visit to the memorial complex commemorating the genocide of Armenians by Ottoman soldiers in World War One, and that throughout the trip they will be followed by camera crews filming for their reality television series “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”.
Armenia accuses the Ottoman authorities at the time of systematically massacring large numbers of Armenians, then deporting many more, including women, children and the elderly and infirm in terrible conditions on so-called death marches.
While a number of countries define the massacres as genocide and while Turkey accepts that many Armenians died in partisan fighting, the Turkish government denies that up to 1.5 million were killed and that it was an act of genocide.
Last year, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan made unprecedented condolences to the grandchildren of Armenians killed at the time, but the legacy remains an obstacle to reviving frozen relations between Turkey and neighbouring Armenia, a small former Soviet territory.