The Kardashian effect

Kuwaitis were out on the streets again yesterday – thousands of them protesting against corruption and calling for a boycott oftoday's election, while others were merely trying to catch a glimpse of Kim Kardashian, the ubiquitous American publicity-seeker.

Judging by some of the "news" reports, Ms Kardashian's visit – she had travelled half-way round the world to open a milkshake bar – was the most momentous event to hit Kuwait since Saddam Hussein invaded in 1990.

For a share in this piece of history, Kuwaitis were being asked to pay 150 dinars ($400) according al-Arabiya: "The price includes group pictures with Kim, a Q&A session with her and you will get to watch her make her own ‘Kim’ milkshake."

As the Mail Online excitedly notes, Ms Kardashian had "taken full advantage of the fact Islamic dress is not compulsory in the Arab country to show off her famous curves at a promotional appearance".

"She donned a revealing white dress with see-through mesh panels – and was seen slurping away on a calorie-laden milkshake at the Millions Of Milkshakes store opening at the Avenues Mall in Kuwait City."

According to the Mail, she "met a lot of wonderful people and was treated with nothing but kindness and has learned a lot more about the culture" and – oh dear! – "is even looking forward to coming back".

Ms Kardashian also paid a visit (at the behest of a TV programme) to a young girl with cancer who was so thrilled she burst into tears, and had a spot of bother with her own teeth. Too many milkshakes, probably. Fortunately, though, she managed to find an American-trained dentist to sort it out.

Ms Kardashian, who announced on Twitter that she was praying for Israel during its recent Gaza offensive, continues her international mission today in Bahrain where, teargas permitting, she will – yes, open another milkshake bar.

A group of Bahraini MPs have tried to ban her from the country on the grounds that she has a "bad reputation", but the motion failed to get parliamentary time.

Meanwhile, Twitter users have been urging her not to go while others want her to meet human rights activists while she is there. 

Some warn that the oppressive Bahraini regime will try to use her visit boost its image. On past form, though, it seems just as likely that Ms Kardashian will use the visit to boost her own image.

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Posted by Brian Whitaker, 1 December 2012.

UPDATE: Gosh, this is getting really exciting. Kim wants everyone to know that she also dropped into the Dorothy Perkins store in Kuwait to check out the Kardashian Kollection (what else?). 

Oh, and those Kuwaiti Pepsi cans with their squiggly writing are just so cute – though she does hope it's the diet variety. 

It is. Says so on the can, in Arabic on one side and English on the other..