Iraqi reporter who hurled shoes at Bush says worldwide fame left him poor

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Washington, Dec. 20 (ANI): The Iraqi journalist, who hurled his shoes at former US President George Bush, is complaining that he has been left a poor man one year after the instant fame and adulation he got throughout the Arab world due to that episode.

The Observer quoted Muntazer al-Zaidi, as saying that his only regret after spending nine months in prison, he was repeatedly beaten by his jailers, was that he was still a relatively poor man.

"I blame the media because they said I would become rich for doing what I did, that I would become a multi-millionaire," said al-Zaidi said from Switzerland, where he is receiving treatment for several health problems.

"Though I thank them for their concern for me, all the promises about gifts I heard when I was in prison were just empty. The only gift I've got since my release is from Canadian television who made me their man of the year and gave me a pair of golden shoes," he added.

Al-Zaidi, who covered many shocking incidents throughout Iraq as a young journalist , is determined to find the money to open an orphanage, which will also cater for women widowed during the six years of war.

As a young reporter, Al-Zaid said he covered many shocking incidents throughout Iraq, including the deaths of entire families that were allegedly the result of American munitions. This, he says, was a key motivator in his protest against Bush.

"I will go back to my country when I find support for my foundation to help orphans and widows as I had promised. All their eyes now look to me and are waiting for me, so I will return one day," he said. (ANI)

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