"Arabs across the Middle East hailed the journalist a hero and praised his insult as a proper send-off to the unpopular U.S. president.
Muntadhar al-Zeidi, who was kidnapped by Shiite militants last year, was being held by Iraqi security today and interrogated about whether anybody paid him to protest during the press conference.........
Showing the sole of your shoe to someone in the Arab world is a sign of extreme disrespect, and throwing your shoes is even worse.
In Baghdad's Shiite slum of Sadr City, thousands of supporters of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr burned American flags to protest against Bush and called for the release of al-Zeidi.
"Bush, Bush, listen well – Two shoes on your head," the protesters chanted in unison.
Newspapers across the Arab world printed front-page photos of Bush ducking the flying shoes and satellite TV stations repeatedly aired the incident, which provided fodder for jokes and was hailed by the president's many critics in the region. "Iraq considers Sunday as the international day for shoes," said a text message circulating around the Saudi capital Riyadh.
Many users of the popular internet networking site Facebook posted the video of the incident to their profile pages, showing al-Zeidi leap from his chair as Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki were about to shake hands.
"This is a farewell kiss, you dog," al-Zeidi yelled in Arabic as he threw his shoes. "This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq.".......
Al-Zeid's tirade was echoed by Arabs across the Middle East who are fed up with U.S. policy in the region and still angry over Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003 to topple Saddam Hussein. Abdel-Bari Atwan, editor of the influential London-based newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi, wrote on the newspaper's website that the incident was "a proper goodbye for a war criminal."
The response to the incident by Arabs in the street was ecstatic.
"Al-Zeidi is the man," said 42-year-old Jordanian businessman Samer Tabalat. "He did what Arab leaders failed to do."...... "