When an Iraqi journalist hurled a pair of shoes at US President George W. Bush, what he probably had in mind was taking revenge against the American forces occupying his country. But his move brought international fame and a financial boost to the manufacturar of those shoes, Ramazan Baydan.
Baydan, the owner of the Istanbul-based Baydan Shoe Company, never imagined he would enjoy a financial windfall at a time of economic turmoil thanks to an unexpected protest against the US president. What allowed Baydan to breathe a big sigh of relief as he was worrying about finding a way to save his company
from bankruptcy was the pair of shoes hurled at Bush during a press conference in december.
It turned into a symbol of resistance Muntadar al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at Bush after yelling “This is a farewell kiss, you dog” at a press conference in Baghdad on Dec. 19, emerged as a hero representing anger in the Middle East over Bush?s policies. His weapon of choice became a symbol of resistance as protestors around the world, particularly in the Middle East, started hurling shoes at pictures of Bush. Cobblers from Turkey to Lebanon have claimed the shoes were made in their factories. “I designed that shoe model in 1999. It has been one of my bestsellers since then. I export thousands of pairs of that model to various countries every year. A shoemaker knows his product,” Baydan told The North Post.
They changed the name of the shoe model after the incident Though the black leather shoes were previously called Model 271, the Baydan Shoe Company renamed them the “Bush shoe” after al-Zaidi?s stunning protest.
“The fact that a shoe I designed became the symbol of the fight for freedom in Iraq impressed me deeply,”. The Bush shoe is now in high demand in many countries around the world, including the United States and Britain, and in neighboring Muslim countries. “We have received orders for thousands of pairs of this model, already exceeding the number of orders we usually receive in an entire year. We have been selling these shoes for years, but orders have increased incredibly after the shoe-throwing incident,” Baydan stated. They recruited 100 extra workers to meet the demand Baydan?s company is said to
have recruited an extra 100 workers to meet the orders. Baydan said he plans to offer the al-Zaidi family a lifetime supply of shoes.
“We have also received offers for advertising from many international companies. We are working on new advertising campaigns. We plan to prepare posters advertising the shoes that will read, ?Bye Bye Bush, Welcome Peace,?” Baydan continued. What happened to ?the shoe throwing journalist??
Al-Zaidi has been in custody since the shoe-throwing incident, and there have been claims that he was badly beaten. Iraqi security agents looking for explosives destroyed the shoes, and a judge stated that the destruction of that piece of evidence would not pose an obstacle to the investigation.
Al-Zaidi faces a possible jail sentence for insulting a foreign leader but has reportedly apologized and requested a pardon from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri
al-Maliki. Throwing a shoe at someone is a gross insult in Arab countries, and President Bush is widely unpopular in the region.