News / Middle East

Ahmadinejad, Latest Leader Attacked With a Shoe

Shoe Attack on Iran's Ahmadinejad in Egypti
X
February 07, 2013 6:56 PM
Iranian gets rude welcome during a visit to a Cairo mosque, become the latest world leader to be attacked with a shoe.
Iranian president gets a rude welcome during a visit to a Cairo mosque, becoming latest world leader to be attacked with a shoe (undated image).
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad got a rude welcome in Cairo earlier this week during a visit to a mosque – when he became the latest world leader to be attacked with a shoe.
 
But he is not the first world leader to have a shoe hurled at his head.
 
U.S. President George W. Bush was giving a news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad in 2008 when he ducked as a shoe went past his head.
 
Security officials quickly subdued the attacker, identified as Muntadhar al-Zaidi, a correspondent for Al-Baghdadia television.
 
Later, Bush joked about the incident with reporters, saying "It doesn't bother me. If you want the facts: it's a size 10 shoe that he threw at me."
 
Hitting someone with the sole of your shoe has long been an insult in the Middle East but the Baghdad incident sent it viral, even inspiring an online game "SockAndAwe," which lets players throw brown laced-loafers at the president. Within days, the site said almost 20 million shoes had been tossed.
 
Demand for the shoes also jumped.
 
Turkish shoemaker Ramazan Baydan told Bloomberg news that less than a week after the incident he had received 300,000 orders for the $42 brown leather shoes with thick soles.
 
New shoe-throwing incidents followed.
 
Some U.S. anti-war protesters adopted the tactic, throwing shoes at posters of Bush during demonstrations in Washington while protesters in Tehran did likewise, throwing their shoes at an effigy of President Bush.
 
Others become targets.
 
In 2009, a student journalist in Istanbul hurled a shoe at then-International Monetary Fund (IMF) Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn. A year later, protesters in Indian-controlled Kashmir threw shoes at that region's top elected official, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.
 
Protesters have reveled in throwing shoes at posters or pictures, including those of numerous Middle Eastern leaders including Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
 
Last June, protesters in Cairo tossed shoes at guards outside the courthouse where former President Hosni Mubarak was standing trial.
 
At least one former world leader has tried to change the paradigm.
 
In video released by Ukraine's state prison agency last September, jailed former Prime Minister Julia Timoshenko was shown using her own shoe to hit the door of her cell in protest.

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters and is national security correspondent. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Bleak China Economic Outlook Rattles Markets

Several key European stock indexes were down nearly three percent, while US market indexes were off around two percent in early trading More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mark from: USA
February 13, 2013 10:10 PM
The jackass probably did something to deserve it like saying the whole story behind the Nazis and what they did was all a lie. He really believes that.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs