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Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Iraqi shoe thrower offered cars, homes and a wife

Muntazer al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist who famously threw his shoes at George W Bush in a fit of rage, has been inundated with offers of cars, wives and money in the run up to his release from prison.

His message to Mr Bush: "This is your farewell kiss, you dog. This is for the widows and orphans of Iraq" is still celebrated by the Iraqi people.

Now, in preparation for his release, the offers are rolling in, the Guardian reports.

A new four-bedroom home has been built by his former boss. A new car – and the promise of many more – also awaits. Pledges of harems, money and healthcare are pouring in to his employers, the al-Baghdadia television channel.

"One Iraqi who lived in Morocco called to offer to send his daughter to be Muntazer's wife," said editor Abdul Hamid al-Saij.

"Another called from Saudi offering $10m for his shoes, and another called from Morocco offering a gold-saddled horse. After the event, we had callers from Palestine and many women asking to marry him, but we didn't take their names. Many of their reactions were emotional. We will see what happens when he is freed."

From his prison cell, Zaidi has a sense of the gathering fuss, but not the full extent of the benefactors and patrons preparing for his release. More