// Paris Hilton opens store in Makkah!!
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« on: Nov 24, 2012 11:11 AM »


Who's to blame here ppl:  Paris Hilton or us!!!!


======================
Paris Hilton whips up a storm in holy Mecca



(CNN) -- As an American socialite and hotel heiress, Paris Hilton has built up a global brand on her sexy image -- and sometimes very few clothes.

But many believe she has gone a step too far in opening a store selling luxury items in the Muslim holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

Hilton's rise to worldwide fame was boosted in part by a homemade sex movie that went viral online in 2003, days before the debut of her reality TV series "The Simple Life."

This does not sit well with many in Mecca, which attracts three million Muslim pilgrims from around the world every year.

All Muslims who are able are expected to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime, and non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the city. Most Saudi women cover themselves fully with a black abaya.
Paris Hilton store in Mecca?

Hilton introduced her store on the social media site Twitter, when she wrote, "Loving my beautiful new store that just opened at Mecca Mall in Saudi Arabia!" accompanying the post with a picture.

She later added: "This is the 5th store in Saudi Arabia, and store number 42 in total! So proud to keep growing my brand!"

It is not the store itself that is out of place in Mecca -- the presence of Western luxury brands is nothing new in Saudi Arabia.

Hilton's store sells luxury handbags and accessories and is in the new Makkah Mall, which opened in 2011 with 255 shops, many of them global chains, selling everything from jewelery to electronics, women's fashion to sportswear. It even has a branch of the lingerie chain La Senza.

Also on Inside the Middle East: New wealth brings luxury shopping to Iraq

Paris Hilton has 42 stores worldwide selling handbags, accessories, shoes, fragrances, watches and T-shirts, and already has four in Saudi Arabia.


However, the combination of Hilton's personal image with the holiest city in the Muslim world has riled some in the conservative kingdom.

Sheikh Adnan Baharith, a conservative cleric who preaches in Mecca, said: ''It is unnecessary to have her shop here because we do not need it.

''If it was in our hands we would have closed all of her shops in Saudi.''

For others, the outrage was more about the ongoing commercialization of the heritage of Mecca than Hilton herself.

Ahmed Al Omran, who writes the blogs Saudi Jeans and Riyadh Bureau, said: "Some people were angry about it and others saw the humor in it.

"In the end, it's made a lot of people think about the bigger issue of the commercialization of Mecca where historic sites have been demolished to make way for modern malls and international brands.

"There's no particular reason to be outraged about Paris Hilton when we already have Gucci and Christian Dior. But for many it's further evidence of how the character of Mecca is being lost."

He added: "It's the combination of the location of the store, who Paris Hilton is and what she stands for."

Others on Twitter expressed similar concerns.

Muna AbuSulayman, a Saudi host on MBC wrote: "Huge outrage on Paris Hilton shop in Mecca Mall! With or against? Or, don't care? Personally I am against the (Disneyfication) of Mecca.''

Laila Lalami, a Moroccan writer based in Los Angeles, tweeted: ''Wahhabis (the dominant branch of Islam in Saudi) at work! Historic religious sites in Medina are being destroyed, while Paris Hilton opens a new store in Mecca mall.''

A Saudi nursing student Aqila Bint Suleyman wrote: ''Paris Hilton's new store in (Mecca). Islamic Heritage being torn apart whilst Saudi makes way for atrocities like this!''

While some, like Dubai-based Saudi entrepreneur and founder of Switch restaurant Deem AlBassam, are more pragmatic.

He said: "Saudi is a fair-trade market, where many investors from around the world come to invest and trade. I think it was a smart move from the local partners in expanding to (Mecca) considering it (is) one of the prime locations and hubs in the kingdom's retail industry.

"The other four branches of the store in the country indicate acceptance from the people and the fifth store is simply catering to their demands."

CNN's calls to the Paris Hilton Shop headquarters in the United States were not returned.
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« Reply #1 on: Nov 24, 2012 01:25 PM »

Ugh, yeah, saw this the other day - yes, I think we are def partially responsible. First the remodeling/building issue and now this - actually disgusting when you think about it...and again, I haven't even been there, so I still have this romantic idea of it, but seems like the more time goes by, Makkah is losing it's old world charm - if I can call it that - I know it will never lose it's place in the larger scheme of things, but outside of necessary changes to ensure safety, feels as if it's moving away from it's roots.

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« Reply #2 on: Nov 25, 2012 11:25 AM »

They're trying to turn it into a Dubai with the a Kaaba.

They've razed down so many historically significant buildings/places. When I last went it was mostly shiny new building and a mall within a stones throw of the haram.

It was gorgeous years ago when we went the first time, old style souks and building up mountains & you could see the desert around you.


And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #3 on: Nov 25, 2012 07:58 PM »

I hear you Aunty - we've had two other discussions about this in the recent past as I'm sure you know. I can't imagine what it will be like if I ever make it over there - I know akhan has become a little Wahabi-ish  Wink as I know many desi pilgrims tend to lean towards acts that aren't sanctioned/allowed (thus discussion of destroying Jabal-al-Noor) - I understand all that. I would be ok with changes, but only if they were enhancing the experience (Jamrat bridge, those make sense, for safetly), but these other things, just making the disparity between pilgrims more obvious and the whole point of Hajj/Ihram is to symbolize that we are equal in Allah's (swt) eyes of course. So it's doubly frustrating...that is another reason I really envy all of you who have gone already and especially earlier on before these changes have taken place. Now they are talking about destroying some of the smaller mosques in the area of the Prophet's Mosque if I'm not mistaken.

The non-mahram sister that I'm closest to back home was on Hajj this year and I was sharing one older article that states in the handbook that the destruction of the Prophet's tomb, that green dome etc was endorsed by the authorities as well.


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« Reply #4 on: Nov 26, 2012 05:29 AM »

I know akhan has become a little Wahabi-ish  Wink
Once you see people do all the wrong things, you'll become one too. It would be great if they could preserve history, but the way things have been going, I'm for the destruction of sites that are not holy. But, I'm not completely Wahabish Tongue I don't like the tower(although the food court is awesome), the five star hotels etc.... It would be much better if they could build budget hotels, small restaurants etc instead of the retardedness that only the top 1% of the ummah can afford Grin

btw, the kiswah of the kaaba is coming down, right now!
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« Reply #5 on: Nov 26, 2012 05:37 AM »

I think that there are better ways of stopping people from committing unIslamic acts than razing historic sites down. I mean jeez, if people are committing bidah somewhere then build a fence! Don't tear it down! I don't get the mentality behind this, I'm just like  Huh?

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« Reply #6 on: Nov 26, 2012 05:44 AM »

I think that there are better ways of stopping people from committing unIslamic acts than razing historic sites down. I mean jeez, if people are committing bidah somewhere then build a fence! Don't tear it down! I don't get the mentality behind this, I'm just like  Huh?
Things happen even from beyond the fences. Example - The Prophet's(S) is regarded to be holy by a lot of people here. Now because you can't see the actual grave, the fence has also become "holy". I've heard religious leaders say this, even looking at the "jaali mubarak"(holy fence in urdu) is full of barakah.

I don't like tearing down history either, but perhaps a small loss is better than a much bigger one?
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« Reply #7 on: Nov 27, 2012 09:45 AM »

Salam,

Destroying Islamic history and culture is not a small loss!! This isn't something we can get back. Once the historical sites of Islam are destroyed they will be gone forever. Over a thousand years of history and beauty taken out in two decades because someone thinks they are "preventing bidah".

Just because a few people *may* and I say _may_ be doing something wrong does not mean it's ok to destroy what rightfully belongs to the entire Ummah.

Look at Bashar Al Assad destroying all of Shaam's history. He is one despot in a long line, but the damage he is doing is wiping out 2000 years of history and culture of Syria. (Not to mention the bloody scars he is inflicting on his people for generations to come.) That's just not something we will ever be able to get back once it's gone. It's really quite horrifying.

You cannot claim to me when Allah said: And proclaim among people the Pilgrimage. They will come to you on foot and on every kind of lean camel, coming from every deep ravine. that Allah meant for the Saudis to raze and cement over all of Makkah, build huge luxury towers and clocks so people could come to the Las Vegas of the Middle East to shop at Paris Hilton's store. In the meantime the Houses of the beloved wife of the prophet is razed to make way for bathrooms and the cave where Arcangel Jibreel descended is filled with garbage. That is not preserving our Islam, our heritage or honor, it's arrogance and despotism.
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« Reply #8 on: Nov 27, 2012 11:53 AM »

I echo Sis Jannah's thoughts here.

I mean,atleast leave the Makkah alone!The holiest place of our ummah alone!
You have the whole world or for that matter,areas around the Makkah for building those glittering malls,hotels and tall towers!
People don't go there for a vacation.They don't go there for site seeing.They go there for pleasing God, purifying their souls and for their spiritual upliftment.

What could have Paris Hilton or others involved in the business thought before opening those shops?"Hey,muslims from all over the world come here to pray.This is the best place to attract them into buying my overpriced goods!A best place to make money out of rich muslims.!!"

And what do some muslims,who by the way like to squander money that way think?"Hey,I have come here for a pilgrimage!Now that I have come here,let me indulge in some useless brand shopping.I am not going to get this stuff outside Makkah.(really??) !Paris Hilton store!!Yeeyy!" Undecided

Not impressive.

People don't go to Makkah to shop.If they even have to,then they would like to buy something as souvenirs.Something that would remind them of their visit to the Holy City.This store,I am sure,would not do that.

The purity of the place and it's old world charm is diminishing.If people can not stop themselves from committing biddah,who is responsible for that?I mean,who orders the arabs to bulldoze those century old buildings?Why can't they atleast try to educate muslims properly if they think they want to prevent them from committing sin?Then why are they allowing unnecessary stores like those to open there?(could atleast open stores which would benefit the pilgrims and make their experience more comfortable).

Surely,another place like Paris Hilton store (they already have a store i think??),is not even needed there.It is a sheer indulgence in riyah ,show off and money wastage.They could do that in other places in the Arabia,if it is business that they are doing.But not at the expense of old and the real arab buildings.



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« Reply #9 on: Nov 27, 2012 05:35 PM »

tsk tsk...Paris Hilton took away my lone support on this board Sad

Syria is different from Makkah so I won't go into that tangent. I'm for pulling down the old buildings but I don't like the malls, towers, five star hotels and Paris Hilton's store either. Something beneficial for the pilgrims would be better. Maybe its 'maybe' people are doing wrong for others, but I've seen it myself a gazillion times so I can understand the wisdom behind it. In any case, these debates have been going on since before we were born and I don't know if everyone can ever reach a consensus.
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