Baghdad, Dec 15: US President George W Bush was given a 'rare farewell' in Iraq by a scribe during a press conference on Sunday, Dec 14. While Bush was speaking in a press conference along with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki a media person threw a pair of shoes, one after the other on US President.
But both the shoes narrowly missed their target and thumped loudly against the wall behind the leaders. Though embarrassed Bush controlled the situation saying, "So what if the guy threw a shoe at me?" Bush said, comparing the action to political protests in the United States. He joked, "If you want the facts, it was a size 10." Bush was attacked with shoe when he was about to shake hands with al-Maliki after the speech.
The mugger who was later identified as Muntadar al Zeidi, a television correspondent, got-up from his chair and hurled his footwear at the president, who was about 20 feet away. Then he yelled in Arabic, "this is a farewell kiss, you dog." The crowd descended on al-Zeidi, who works for Al-Baghdadiya television, an Iraqi-owned station based in Cairo, Egypt. He was wrestled to the ground by security officials and then hauled away, moaning as they departed the room. Later, a trail of fresh blood could be seen on the carpet, although the source was not known.
Throwing shoes at someone is a sign of contempt in Iraqi culture. In 2003 when US Marines toppled Saddam Hussein's statue on Firdos square the assembled crowd whacked it with their shoes.
OneIndia News (With inputs from Agencies)