Hailed for hurling shoe at Bush, journalist to contest Iraq election

BAGHDAD: Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi who infamously threw his shoe at former US President George W. Bush during a press conference in 2008, is now running for office in Baghdad.

A little less than 10 years ago, Zaidi was a 28-year-old correspondent working with an Egyptian television channel called Al-Baghdadia gained international attention when he hurled both of his shoes at Bush during a speech in Baghdad.

He had yelled in Arabic “this is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog!”

“This is for the widows and orphans and all those killed in Iraq,” he managed to get out as the second shoe flew, before he was tackled by the prime minister’s Nouri al-Maliki’s bodyguards.

Al-Zaidi was arrested promptly and was thrown in jail for three years

“When I threw the shoe in the face of the criminal, George Bush, I wanted to express my rejection of his lies, his occupation of my country, my rejection of his killing my people,” Al-Zaidi wrote in an op-ed in 2009.

“My rejection of his plundering the wealth of my country, and destroying its infrastructure. And casting out its sons into a diaspora.”

He returned to Iraq in 2011 and since then maintained a low profile is now running for the Council of Representatives, the country’s legislative branch.

The election is set to take place on May 12.