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Dec 22

Written by: Diana West
Monday, December 22, 2008 4:10 PM 

From The Scotsman:

THE maker of the shoes thrown by an Iraqi journalist at George Bush has reported an influx of orders from around the world in the wake of the incident.

Ramazan Baydan, the owner of the Istanbul-based Baydan Shoe Co, which claims to make the shoes, has recruited an extra 100 staff to meet orders for 300,000 pairs of Model 271.

He said that about 120,000 orders had come from Iraq, but many had been placed in Britain and the United States.

It is understood that a UK firm has even offered to act as a European distributor for the footwear, which retail in Turkey for about £28 a pair.

So popular is the shoe that Mr Baydan has said he is renaming it from its rather anonymous title to the "Bush" shoe.

However, Muntazer al-Zaidi's brother, Durgham, accused the company of lying for commercial gain.

He said: "The Syrians claim the shoes were made in Syria and the Turks say they made them. Some say he bought them in Egypt. But as far as I know, he bought them in Baghdad and they were made in Iraq."

The original shoes used by Zaidi were destroyed during security checks.

A good thing--imagine the circus on e-bay.

Meanwhile, the repercussions of Zaidi's protest are now threatening to throw the country's government out of step.

The row over the treatment of the journalist led to extraordinary scenes in the country's parliament yesterday, which could place in doubt the legal right of British troops serving in Iraq.

Iraqi MPs called an emergency session in an attempt to oust from power the speaker, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani.

And having become embroiled in the argument, the nation's parliamentarians were unable to cast crucial votes over whether to allow thousands of British and all other non-US troops to stay in the country.

Without parliamentary agreement, the troops would have no legal grounds to remain after the expiration of a UN mandate on 31 December.

The postponement of the vote is causing unease around Westminster. It remains unclear when the Iraqi parliament will resume. It is expected to close tomorrow for Christmas and the following weekend. Privately, however, the British government hopes an interim resolution or law can be passed before then.

Amid fraught scenes in the parliament, Mr Mashhadani called for a delay in voting after a group of MPs demanded his resignation for insulting them during a recent debate over Zaidi's fate.

The speaker last week threatened to resign, having failed to calm an unruly debate over the incident, with a first reading of the resolution unable to be heard over of the uproar about the "attack" on the US president. An angry Mr Mashhadani said: "There is no honour in leading this parliament."

Yesterday, Shia and Kurdish MPs tried to force Mr Mashhadani, a Sunni, to step down, accusing him of having insulted the legislature.

It goes on from there ... here.

Meanwhile, an Egyptian man has offered his 20-year-old university student- daughter to the shoe-thrower. And the daughter thinks it's a good idea. From Reuters:

The daughter, Amal Saad Gumaa, said she agreed with the idea. "This is something that would honour me. I would like to live in Iraq, especially if I were attached to this hero," she told Reuters by telephone.

Her father, Saad Gumaa, said he had called Dergham, Zaidi's brother, to tell him of the offer. "I find nothing more valuable than my daughter to offer to him, and I am prepared to provide her with everything needed for marriage," he added.

Culture-clash, anyone?



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