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Shoe thrower is Arab world's new folk hero

The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at US President George W Bush has a broken arm and ribs after being struck by security agents. While he may have suffered several injuries, his act is hailed by many in the Arab world as an ideal parting gift to the unpopular president. See video

world Updated: Dec 16, 2008 21:21 IST

The Iraqi journalist, Muntadhar al- Zaidi, who threw his shoes at US President George W Bush has a broken arm and ribs after being struck by Iraqi security agents, his brother said on Tuesday.

Who is Muntadhar al -Zaidi

Muntadhar al-Zaidi is a breadocast journalist working as a correstpondent for Al-Baghdadia TV, a Cairo based news chennel.

This 29-year-old bachelor graduated with a degree in Communication from Baghdad University.

He was arrested twice by the US armed forces and claims to have been tortured by them. he came into international notice in 2007 for allegedly being detained by "gangs" in Baghdad.

As of now al Zaidi is a hero not only in Iraq but in Syria and Lybia as well.

Durgham Zaidi was unable to say whether his brother Muntadhar had sustained the injuries while being overpowered during Sunday's protest against Bush's visit or while in custody later.

He said he had been told that his brother was being held by Iraqi forces in the heavily fortified Green Zone compound in central Baghdad where the US embassy and most government offices are housed.

"He has got a broken arm and ribs, and cuts to his eye and arm," said Durgham.

"He is being held by forces under the command of Muaffaq al-Rubaie," Iraq's national security adviser, he added.
The daring journalist may have suffered several injuries but he is hailed as Arab's new folk hero.

Iraqi authorities faced mounting calls to release the journalist who hurled his shoes at George W Bush, an action branded shameful by the government but hailed by many in the Arab world as an ideal parting gift to the unpopular US president.

Colleagues of Muntadhar al-Zaidi, who works for independent Iraqi television station Al-Baghdadia, said he "detested America" and had been plotting such an attack for months against the man who ordered the invasion of his country.

"Throwing the shoes at Bush was the best goodbye kiss ever... it expresses how Iraqis and other Arabs hate Bush," wrote Musa Barhoumeh, editor of Jordan's independent Al-Gahd Arabic newspaper.

Among his many supporters, Saddam Hussein's former lawyer said on Tuesday he was forming a team to defend him. So far around 200 Iraqi and other lawyers, including Americans, have expressed willingness to defend the journalist for free," the Amman-based Khalil al-Dulaimi told AFP. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/2008/12/Bush.jpg

Several social networking sites and blogs are praising Muntadhar- al- Zaidi and hailing him as the hero of resistance. He has gained a lot of popularity, especially among Bush haters. This young scribe will be awarded a medal of courage from the daughter of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhaf, Aisha.

His act has created a stir in international media. While some publications are describing Muntazer as the emergence of free press in Iraq, a newspaper in Saudi Arabia reported that a man had offered $10 million to buy just one of what has almost certainly become the world's most famous pair of black dress shoes.