Bush ‘shoe attack’ leads to explosion of online games

By RIA Novosti,

Moscow : Online games inspired by the Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at US President George W. Bush in Baghdad last week have taken the Internet by storm.

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Ever since Muntazer al-Zaidi, a reporter for the Cairo-based al-Baghdadiya TV, threw both his shoes at the outgoing US president Sunday, online games have begun to spring up giving players the chance to succeed where the Iraqi journalists failed.

From the relatively sophisticated to the simple, the games have proven a worldwide hit. One of the most popular is called “Sock and Awe” a pun on the US “Shock and Awe” military doctrine.

The journalist was detained and later handed over to the Iraqi military. His brother told the Al Jazeera news channel that Zaidi has been “severely injured” while in custody. He could face up to 15 years in jail on charges of attempting to assassinate a foreign leader.

Viewing Zaidi’s action as a brave protest against the US’ actions in Iraq, demonstrators have rallied for his release in the capital Baghdad, the southern Shia dominated Basra, and the holy city of Najaf, where some reports said that shoes were thrown at a US convoy.

Showing the soles of shoes is considered a grave insult in Arabic culture.

Zaidi’s actions have encapsulated the rage felt at Bush and the US in much of the Arab world, and a number of Middle Eastern channels have shown nonstop footage of the incident. There have also been some more bizarre reactions to the attack.

In Egypt, a father has offered Zaidi his “beloved” daughter in marriage, national media have reported. Saad Guuma said he was deeply impressed by the actions of the journalist. His daughter, 20-year-old Amal, has reportedly said she would be “honoured” to marry Zaidi.

A Saudi businessman has also offered $10 million for just one of the shoes, Saudi television said Tuesday.