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April 1, 2009 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 505

Reactions in the Arab World to the Throwing of Shoes at President Bush

April 1, 2009 | By D. Hazan
Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 505

On March 12, 2009, Iraq's Supreme Criminal Court sentenced Iraqi journalist Muntazar Al-Zaidi to three years in prison for throwing his shoes at then-U.S. president George Bush during a joint press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, which took place in Baghdad on December 14, 2008. During the sentencing, dozens of protesters demonstrated outside the courtroom, demanding Al-Zaidi's release. [1]

Since Al-Zaidi's shoe attack on Bush, shoe-throwing has become a symbol of protest: In demonstrations across Europe, hundreds of protesters threw shoes at U.S. embassies to protest U.S. policies, while others brandished shoes to protest against the Israeli offensive in Gaza. Al-Zaidi's act also inspired several shoe attacks on figures around the world. On February 2, 2009, a shoe was thrown at Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, as he was giving a speech at Cambridge University in the U.K.; [2] Israeli Ambassador to Sweden Benny Dagan had a shoe thrown at him during a speech at Stockholm University; [3] and on March 5, 2009, an Iranian citizen threw a shoe at the vehicle of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during a visit to the city of Urmia in western Iran. [4]

The Bush shoe-throwing incident triggered a flood of excited reactions in the Arab media. The Iraqi authorities condemned the incident and arrested Al-Zaidi, an employee of the Iraqi satellite television channel Al-Baghdadiyya. The general public, however, empathized with Al-Zaidi, condoned his act, and viewed him as a hero. This popular support was manifested, inter alia, by numerous demonstrations, during which participants demanded Al-Zaidi's release and voiced concern for his wellbeing in detention, as well as by the willingness of numerous lawyers to take part in defending him. The incident received extensive media coverage, including reports, analyses, poems, and cartoons.

Al-Zaidi's supporters contended that the shoe throwing incident was the result of pent-up frustration and anger over the U.S. presence in Iraq; that Al-Zaidi was a hero who had given vent to the feelings of the Iraqi citizens and of all Arabs; that the incident had restored Iraq's honor and humiliated Bush at the end of his term; that it was proof of the failure of U.S. policy in Iraq; and that just as the stone had become a weapon of the Palestinians, the shoe had become a weapon of the Iraqis. Some suggested, sarcastically, that shoes were the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction for which Bush had searched in vain.

Al-Zaidi's detractors, on the other hand, argued that the incident had discredited journalism and showed that Al-Zaidi had failed to comprehend the nature of his job, and that it was proof that Bush had succeeded in bringing democracy to Iraq, since during Saddam Hussein's rule, speaking out - let alone throwing shoes - would have been unthinkable; indeed, such an act would have invariably been punished by death.

It should be noted that the most prominent of Al-Zaidi's advocates include anti-American countries and organizations such as Syria, Sudan, the Sadrist movement in Iraq, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and Hizbullah in Lebanon. In Egypt, reactions were both in favor and against Al-Zaidi's conduct, with the former predominating. An unexpected reaction came from the Saudi-affiliated London daily Al-Hayat, which adopted an anti-U.S. position and commended Al-Zaidi's action.

Following are excerpts from several articles and poems, as well as a selection of cartoons on this subject:

Official Iraqi Reaction: "Barbaric Conduct that Has Nothing to Do with Journalism"

The Iraqi government condemned the incident, calling it "embarrassing and barbaric conduct that has nothing to do with journalism" and requiring the television channel Al-Baghdadiyya, where Muntazar Al-Zaidi was employed as a broadcast journalist, to "publicly apologize for this action, which harmed the reputation of Iraqi journalists and of journalism as a whole." [5]

For its part, Al-Baghdadiyya, which broadcasts from Egypt, demanded that the Iraqi authorities immediately release Al-Zaidi, in accordance with the principles of democracy and freedom of expression upheld by the U.S. and by the new democratic regime in Iraq. [6]

Arab Public Applauds Al-Zaidi

According to reports in the Arab media, the general public in Iraq and the rest of the Arab world expressed solidarity with Al-Zaidi and glorified him and his deed. [7] Following are excerpts from several reports:

On December 15, 2008, supporters of the Sadrist movement held demonstrations in Baghdad, Basra, and Najaf demanding that Al-Zaidi be released and that his wellbeing while in detention be ensured. The Iraqi Journalists' Association expressed surprise at Al-Zaidi's conduct, but nevertheless called on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki to release him "for humanitarian reasons." [8] Iraqi lawyer Khalil Al-Duleimi, one of the 22 lawyers who had represented Saddam Hussein at his trial, stated that efforts were underway to form an international team for Al-Zaidi's defense, and that 200 Arab lawyers were willing to join it. The Organization for the Defense of Press Freedom also demanded that the government release Al-Zaidi and ensure his wellbeing. [9] In Gaza, journalists and educated circles resolved to form an Al-Zaidi solidarity committee. [10] Libyan leader Muammar Al-Qaddafi's daughter 'Aisha, who heads a charity organization, decided to award Al-Zaidi the Order for Courage, as befits an individual who has distinguished himself by defending human rights. [11] Also, a Saudi millionaire offered $10 million for the shoe thrown by Al-Zaidi. [12]

Articles in Support of the Shoe-Throwing

Syrian Daily Al-Watan: "The Baghdad Shoe Will Have a Great Impact on U.S. History"

Syrian parliamentary speaker Mahmoud Al-Abrash commended the throwing of shoes at "the tyrant," stating: "The Syrian Peoples' Council supports the hero, and we hope that the Iraqi National Assembly will defend him [as well]." [13] The Syrian daily Al-Watan wrote that Al-Zaidi's action "had demonstrated the Iraqi honor and pride," calling it "Baghdad's parting kiss for President Bush" and adding that Bush's professed lack of concern about the incident "showed that he was used to shoes being flung in his face. [However,] the Baghdad shoe will [nonetheless] have a great impact on U.S. history..."

Al-Watan further stated: "The U.S. president does not understand that democracy, which he is so proud to have introduced into Iraq, has not brought people like him anything except for a kiss of the kind [he received] from the Iraqi journalist Al-Zaidi - nor will it ever bring them anything [in the future]." [14]

An article posted by the Syrian news agency Champress stated: "Has this angry youth no right to use his shoes to express his [feelings]... about the humiliation and defeat into which his nation has been cast by the murderer of the present generation [i.e., President George Bush]?... Has this Baghdad [resident] no right to express his opinion regarding the security agreement imposed by the murderer on the murdered?...

"Thank you, thank you, Muntazar Al-Zaidi! You have taught Bush, the rulers [who] follow him, and the clerics from among the Arab riffraff the most important lesson in history... You also meant to say that the search for the weapons of mass destruction... has ended today, when you have clearly declared... that these weapons are [in effect] Iraqi shoes." [15]

According to the UAE daily Al-Khaleej, Syrian Education Minister Dr. Riyadh Agha said that, as an Arab educator, he was pleased with the way Al-Zaidi had expressed his opinion about Bush's policy towards Iraq, and said that he much preferred it to Al-Zaidi's donning an explosive belt and detonating it next to Bush. Al-Agha added: "Al-Zaidi expressed the whole world's feelings towards Bush... If Bush were aware of how history would see him, he would rue the day he was born... History will see Bush as a great criminal, responsible for the murder of three million people. This is a much greater crime than that of Hitler or Mussolini, who fought a balanced war against great powers - while Bush, the president of the largest country in the world, aimed his entire arsenal against the small village of Ba'qouba, [Iraq], and surrounded residential neighborhoods in Sadr City [in Baghdad] for two whole months... President-elect Barack Obama must choose [what he prefers]: a shameful end like that of Bush, or [an honorable end] like that of [Jimmy] Carter, who earned the respect of Damascus." [16]

Editor of Sudanese Pro-Government Daily Al-Rai Al-'Am: "The Shoe War Has Become Part of the Campaign Against the Occupier, Just as the Stone Has Become a Weapon Against the Zionists"

The Sudanese press commended Al-Zaidi for expressing the feelings of Arabs everywhere. The editor of the leading Sudanese pro-government daily Al-Rai Al-'Am, Kamal Bakhit, wrote: "The Iraqi journalist expressed with his shoes what all writers and journalists have failed to communicate with their pens... He has won for himself a place of honor in history... Hundreds of millions of respected members of our Arab nation, from the [Atlantic] Ocean to the [Persian] Gulf, would have gladly done the same had an opportunity presented itself; but Al-Zaidi gave expression to everyone's [feelings].

"I believe that had there not been tight security measures, Al-Zaidi would have grabbed a submachine gun from Bush's and Al-Maliki's bodyguards and fired dozens of bullets at [Bush]... If Bush had any conscience at all, he would have committed suicide... since Al-Zaidi humiliated him in an unprecedented manner before the [entire] world...

"Although Al-Maliki's and Bush's destroying angels killed Al-Zaidi last night, he will be remembered by the entire Arab nation as a glorious hero... The shoe war has become part of the campaign against the occupier, just as the stone has become a weapon against the Zionists... Therefore, the Iraqi people and the rest of the Arab nation must forever enshrine the memory of the hero Muntazar Al-Zaidi [in their hearts]." [17]

Also, Al-Tayyib Mustafa, editor of the Sudanese daily Al-Intibaha, published an article in praise of Al-Zaidi, in which he called upon his readers to juxtapose the behavior of George Bush during the shoe-throwing incident with that of Saddam Hussein as he was being led to execution: "Note the difference between the panic that took possession of Bush, as he ducked, trembling, to avoid Al-Zaidi's shoe, and the proud stance of the [former] Iraqi president, the martyr Saddam Hussein, as he stood facing death - upright and courageous, his head raised high - and removed the blindfold that had been placed over his eyes, as is usually done with those being led to execution." [18]

Hizbullah: "[The Incident] Is a Clear Manifestation of the Iraqi People's Resistance to the [U.S.] Occupation"

Hizbullah in Lebanon praised Al-Zaidi for his courage, describing his action as "a clear manifestation of the Iraqi people's resistance to the [U.S.] occupation" and a "sign heralding the imminent demise of Bush - a symbol of tyranny - and of all occupiers."

Hizbullah also condemned Al-Zaidi's beating and arrest, and called for him to be regarded as a hero. [19]

Editor of the Egyptian Government Daily Al-Gumhouriyya: "A Shoe Gives the Best [Possible] Expression to the Feelings of the Iraqis and the Majority of the Arab People toward Bush"

In Egypt, some journalists glorified the incident. Muhammad 'Ali Ibrahim, editor of the Egyptian government daily Al-Gumhouriyya and MP, published an article extolling Al-Zaidi, writing: "At the end of [his] term in office, Bush got his just desserts in Iraq, in the form of Al-Zaidi's shoe. This shoe gave the best [possible] expression to the feelings of the Iraqis and the majority of the Arab people toward Bush, since for them, his term in office has been a sheer disaster." [20]

Similar opinions were voiced in the Egyptian daily Al-Akhbar, by editor Muhammad Barakat and former editor Ibrahim Sa'da. [21] The website of the Muslim Brotherhood also posted several articles on this subject, all praising the incident. One of them drew an analogy between the Muslim custom of throwing stones at Satan during the ceremonyof the pilgrimage to Mecca and the shoes thrown at Bush. [22]

Al-Hayat Columnist: "Al-Zaidi Missed the Target but Killed a Lie, and Entered the Annals of History"

The Saudi London daily Al-Hayat adopted an unusual anti-U.S. position, praising Al-Zaidi for his action. Thus, columnist Mustafa Zein exulted over the calamity that had befallen Bush: "[Bush] continued his game until the very end, in the hope of going down in history as [a leader who] made a great achievement, [albeit] at the cost of the lives of [many] Iraqis, the destruction of their country, and the spread of terrorism all over the world. However, [his path was crossed by] a discourteous journalist who gave vent to his feelings using his shoes, which he threw in the face of the 'liberator.' True, he may have missed the target, but he killed a lie, and entered the annals of history." [23]

Daoud Al-Shiryan, deputy director of the Saudi satellite television channel Al-Arabiya and columnist for Al-Hayat, likewise commended Al-Zaidi for humiliating Bush: "The fact that President Bush managed to avoid being hit by two shoes [thrown at him] does not mean that the Iraqi journalist Muntazar Al-Zaidi had missed the target, since his object was not to wound or kill, but rather to humiliate. This has been achieved in the best possible way...

"The new [U.S.] administration must understand that the security agreement is inappropriate - no less than the throwing of shoes... [By his action,] Muntazar Al-Zaidi launched a shoe intifada... The Arab journalists applauded the courage of their Iraqi colleague, who has invested shoes with political significance." [24]

'Abd Al-'Aziz Al-Suwayed described the shoe as a psychological weapon: "The physical impact of throwing shoes cannot be compared with that of bombs and rockets, which for years have been fired at Iraq and the Iraqis; however, from the psychological standpoint, the matter seems different... [Muntazar Al-Zaidi] has proven that a shoe [can serve as] a weapon for anyone who has a shred of self-respect remaining - just as the stone has become a weapon [in its own right].

"As a result of this [incident], there could be a new regulation banning journalists from wearing shoes at press conferences - and, in time, also from carrying cameras... Therefore, the media must back Muntazar, in order to protect itself against anticipated attacks...

"[Al-Zaidi] is one of the media men who are faithful to themselves and loyal to their homeland. With the help of his shoes - which may be the only pair he owns - he expressed his opinion against the president of the largest 'democratic' state, one that professes to safeguard liberty and freedom of expression." [25]

Articles Against the Shoe-Throwing

"The Euphoria that Swept through the Arab [World]... Is a Clear Indication of the [Arabs'] Helplessness in Many Spheres"

Editor of the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat Tariq Al-Homayed condemned Al-Zaidi's behavior as harmful to the prestige of journalism: "The Iraqi journalist could have asked the U.S. president a difficult and embarrassing question... but he preferred substituting a shoe for words, forgetting that journalism [rejects the use of] violence or invective.

"What we observed during the press conference is nothing but the discrediting of journalism, as well as proof that [Al-Zaidi] misunderstood the nature [of his profession]. A journalist is not a jihad fighter or a warrior; [a journalist's job is] to publicize news. Neither does a journalist speak in the name of a nation, or even [a nation's] conscience, as has been claimed by some failed journalists...

"In substituting his shoe for words, [Al-Zaidi] overlooked [the fact that] during Saddam Hussein's era, press conferences were out of the question. Moreover, at that time, if a journalist had dared say a harsh word to Saddam Hussein, his entire tribe would have disclaimed him and demanded that he receive the severest possible punishment." [26]

'Ali Ibrahim wrote that he was surprised by the enthusiastic reactions in the Arab world to the shoe-throwing incident: "Even more bizarre than the behavior of 'the shoe journalist' are the reactions to it, extolling it as 'a glorious deed.' These reactions could be an indication of some repressed [psychological] disorder, which is also manifested by the barrage of jokes about the incident [circulating among the public], which, [in turn,] may mean that we are advancing towards a shoe war... One can understand the positions of political streams and parties, that see this incident as consonant with their [own] political agendas; what is not clear is why this act is condoned by journalists - who of all people should realize that this kind of protest contravenes the ethical principle of their profession, and is bound to harm it." [27]

Dr. 'Abd Al-Mun'im Sa'id, director of the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo and columnist for Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, analyzed the hype about the shoe-throwing incident in the Arab media: "Last week undoubtedly belonged to Muntazar Al-Zaidi and his shoe... not only because of what happened in the hall where the incident occurred, but also because of what happened later throughout the 'Arab homeland'... The incident revealed [a nation] looking for a hero, not only in Baghdad - where people took to the streets, waving flags and shoes - but in the entire Arab world. The most furious demonstration, with the most heated expressions, was held by all the Arab satellite channels, which showed Al-Zaidi's shoe leaving his hand and sailing towards Bush's face hundreds of times... The Arab nation has thus revealed that it still yearns for a hero and a savior... to wash away its shame and restore its honor...

"In the past, there was a constant yearning for [a hero like] Salah Al-Din, who would unite the nation and lead it to a victory like that of Hattin, [28] but Salah Al-Din never came... Nevertheless, our nation remained loyal to its desire for a singular and irreplaceable savior - and he finally arrived in the humble form of Muntazar Al-Zaidi, his sword [a humble] shoe. The incident revealed... an unprecedented and definite unanimity among writers and intellectuals... How amazing that the Cairo papers, which [normally] cannot agree on anything, all took the same [approach], praising the Baghdad incident and devoting headlines, front-page articles and daily columns to it... It was not the failing Arab leaders who were the target of this response, but the president of another country, and [the response] was not expressed by means of a film, article or [TV] program, but by means of a shoe... The shoe-throwing [incident] compensated the Arabs for their helplessness... [But the situation] will not be [truly] resolved until helplessness is replaced by power, and talk is replaced by action - and this will not be achieved by any number of Arab shoes." [29]

'Imad 'Aryan, columnist for the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram wrote that, although Al-Zaidi's frustration was understandable, his conduct was unprofessional, and that the popular enthusiasm over his action was a sign of weakness on the part of the Arabs: "What the Iraqi journalist did contravenes all professional rules. A journalist who takes part in press conferences at such a [high] level must abide by professional rules, even if he were faced with Hulagu [Khan] [30]... What is even more bizarre is the empathy and enthusiasm that swept through our Arab nation, from the [Atlantic] Ocean to the [Persian] Gulf, which viewed the incident as a victory over the American nation and as revenge [on the U.S.] for occupying Iraq and tearing it apart... This is wrong; the Arab nation has deviated from its habitual way of [logical] argumentation and missed out on [a chance] to [solve] our problems... Our preferred response has always been to resort to demagogy and deviate from the [accepted] laws and rules... The euphoria that swept through the Arab [world] and prompted some [Arabs] to grant Al-Zaidi the Order for Courage and [others] to offer 100 thousand dollars for his shoes, is a clear indication of their helplessness in many spheres, rather than of an ability to adopt an active position vis-à-vis their problems - so much so that they keep extolling Al-Zaidi's shoes as if the latter were the only means of liberating their country and resolving their problems." [31]

Columnist for the Sudanese government daily Al-Rai Al-'Am Fath Al-Rahman Shila wrote: "The journalist's substitution of a shoe for a pen is a clear [sign of] weakness and bankruptcy... Pursuing publicity using a shoe is a disorder that must be treated before it spreads like cancer, and before there is no one left to courageously defend rights and obligations with words... Whatever one may think about the [U.S.] occupation of Iraq, according to George Bush - president of the biggest existing superpower with democracy and freedoms - it was not easy, but it was [absolutely] necessary. If we recall [what was happening in] Iraq before the U.S. occupation and [how] the Iraqi people suffered under the executioners' lash, it [becomes clear that Saddam Hussein] was the cruelest of tyrants... Some people's celebration of this inane incident, as well as the thousands of dollars in donations, is [a sign of] bankruptcy... and of the pursuit of cheap publicity. [Considering] the siege on Gaza, the children who suffer because they have no milk, and the sick awaiting shipments of medicines from Europe - if we have millions of dollars, would it not be better to give them to the poor and deprived of Palestine or Somalia, instead of using them to bolster the discourse of defeatists and defeated? Have you seen on Arab soil a tower as proud as the tower of democracy in America, which has elected a black man [as its president]?" [32]

Liberal Website Elaph: "This Is the Freedom That We Have Been Missing... The Celebration of the Shoe Is the Best Possible Proof..."

The liberal website www.elaph.com posted several articles condemning Al-Zaidi's action. In an article titled "This Is the Freedom that We Have Been Missing," Basem Muhammad Habib contended that the incident proved that Bush's policy in Iraq had been a success: "The celebration of the shoe is the best possible proof that things are going in the right direction. Indeed, the Iraqis, who [once] could only dream of criticizing or even rebuking a leader, today act with unprecedented courage - and all this is the achievement of democracy. Those who saw [throwing of the shoes] as the victory of Iraq's honor, which had been trampled by the occupier, ignored [how] the occupier - and especially Bush - had created the conditions that made this situation possible. [Indeed], all this could have never come about but for the president of the largest superpower."

Another Elaph columnist, Walid Jawwad, wrote: "Al-Zaidi will be neither killed nor tortured for his despicably violent action, as would have happened under [Saddam Hussein's] rule. This incident will not change the U.S. position one iota, nor will it shake our belief in the Iraqis' determination [to continue on the path to progress]. However, Al-Zaidi is guilty of what he is accused of - namely, of discrediting journalism, his Iraqi homeland, and his Arab upbringing." [33]

Poems Extolling the Throwing of Shoes

"I Did Not Know How Useful a Shoe Could Be until It Stood up to the Evildoers"

Support for Al-Zaidi was also expressed in the form of poems extolling his courageous action. Following are excerpts from two of these:

The following poem, titled "The Tale of a Shoe" and published by the Bahraini daily Al-Waqt, is attributed to the Saudi Labor Minister and former ambassador to Britain Ghazi Al-Qusaibi: [34]

"...Here is the enemy, standing in front of your house, his hands full of death and remnants of bodies.

"Strike with your shoes the face of every hypocrite; Al-Maliki is no better than Bush's shoe.

"What is the use of words of wisdom in a world that says that Jews are the wise...

"Brand these faces with a mark of humiliation, for the members of [the Iraqi] Parliament are women...

"When leaders become the tail of our enemy, it is the common people who rush into battle...

"May you be blessed by Allah; I would swear that the glory of your deed has stirred the very stars...

"I did not know how useful a shoe could be until it stood up to the evil-doers..." [35]

Another poem, part of which is cited below, was written by the former Lebanese MP Nasser Qandil:

"The journalists grasped their pens, and the two presidents commenced [the ceremony] of the parting kiss,

"[Al-Zaidi] grasped his shoe and bent down, announcing the commencement [of the ceremony],

"He cast one shoe, and then the other, and his voice [thundered forth];

"A report emerged: A journalist has signed an article with his shoe, putting an end to a state of being lost." [36]

Cartoons in the Arab Press

The Arab press has been full of cartoons relating to shoe-throwing. Some common motifs were a shoe representing a parting gift to Bush from Iraq, the humiliation of Bush and the U.S., and the shoe as the Arabs' weapon of mass destruction. Some of the cartoons draw an analogy between the destruction of Saddam Hussein's images in the beginning of the U.S. occupation of Iraq and the throwing of shoes at Bush at the end of his term as president. Others emphasize that Bush's ambition of being remembered in history as the liberator of Iraq has been thwarted since he will now be remembered only by this humiliation, and that he is sorry to have ever set foot in Iraq. Still others relate to the Arab press's obsession with the incident.

Following are examples of the cartoons:

"The unforgettable incident of December 14"


Source: Al-Ghad (Jordan); Al-Quds Al-'Arabi (London), December 16, 2008.
Cartoonist: 'Imad Hajjaj

The world gives Bush what he deserves


Source: Akhbar Al-Khalij (Bahrain), December 19, 2008.


Source: Al-Balad (Lebanon), December 16, 2008
Cartoonist: Stavro Jabra

The throwing of shoes at Bush - a blow at the U.S.


Source: Al-Ghad (Jordan), December 17, 2008.
Cartoonist: Nidal Hashem

"In Iraq..."


Source: Al-Mustaqbal (Lebanon), December 16, 2008.
Cartoonist: Hassan Bleibel

"Resistance"


Source: Akhbar Al-'Arab (UAE), December 17, 2008.
Cartoonist: 'Amer Al-Zo'abi

Figure on right: "Could this be the weapon of mass destruction that Bush spoke of?"
Figure on left: "No, this is the parting gift to him."


Source: Al-Ahram (Egypt), December 16, 2008.

Bush: "Finally, we have succeeded in identifying the Iraqi weapon of mass destruction."


Source: Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), December 17, 2008.
Cartoonist: Jihad 'Awartani

On right: "Baghdad 2003"; on left: "Baghdad 2008"


Source: Al-Jarida (Kuwait), December 16, 2008.
Cartoonist: 'Abd Al-Qader Ayoub.

Bush: "If I had known that this would be my end, I would have never gotten into it."


Source: Al-Dustour (Jordan), December 16, 2008.
Cartoonist: Jalal Al-Rifa'i

Bust of Bush


Source: Al-Ghad (Jordan); Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), December 17, 2008.
Cartoonist: 'Imad Hajjaj

"Press conference"


Source: Al-Dustour (Jordan), December 16, 2008.
Cartoonist: 'Abdallah Darqawi

Al-Maliki to Obama: "See, like I told you. Nothing to worry about."


Cartoonist: Muhammad Mas'ood
Source: Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, December 17, 2008

Obsession with the shoe-throwing in the Arab press


Source: Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), December 17, 2008.
Cartoonist: Amjad Rasmi

*D. Hazan is a research fellow at MEMRI.


Endnotes:

[1] www.asawataliraq.info, March 12, 2009.

[2] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), February 3, 2009.

[3] http://finance.walla.co.il/?w=/2/1430647, February 5, 2009.

[4] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), March 9, 2009.

[5] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), December 16, 2008.

[6] www.aswataliraq.info, December 15, 2008; Al-Jarida (Kuwait), December 16, 2008.

[7] Al-Khalij (UAE), December 17, 2008.

[8] www.aswataliraq.info, December 15, 2008.

[9] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), December 16, 2008.

[10] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (P.A.), December 17, 2008.

[11] www.middle-east-online.com, December 15, 2008.

[12] www.alarabiya.net, December 15, 2008.

[13] www.aljeeran.net/wesima_extra/popups/printarticle.php?id=136648.

[14] Al-Watan (Syria), December 15, 2008.

[15] www.champress.net, December 15, 2008.

[16] Al-Khaleej (UAE), December 18, 2008.

[17] Al-Rai Al-'Am (Sudan), December 16, 2008.

[18] Al-Intibaha (Sudan), December 17, 2008.

[19] Al-Khalij (UAE), December 17, 2008.

[20] Al-Gumhouriyya (Egypt), December 16, 2008.

[21] Al-Akhbar (Egypt), December 16, 2008.

[22] www.ikhwanonline.com, December 15, 2008.

[23] Al-Hayat (London), December 16, 2008.

[24] Al-Hayat (London), December 16, 2008.

[25] Al-Hayat (London), December 16, 2008.

[26] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), December 16, 2008.

[27] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), December 16, 2008.

[28] The Battle of Hattin, which took place in 1187 between the army of Salah Al-Din and the Crusader army, ended with a resounding victory for the former. It marks the beginning of the collapse of Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.

[29] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), December 24, 2008.

[30] Hulagu Khan (Genghis Khan's grandson) was a 13th century Mongol ruler who conquered much of southwest Asia, including Baghdad, which he burned to the ground.

[31] Al-Ahram (Egypt), December 17, 2008.

[32] Al-Rai Al-'Am (Sudan), December 21, 2008.

[33] www.elaph.com, December 16, 2008.

[34] It should be noted that Al-Ghosaibi denied any connection to the poem. Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), December 23, 2008.

[35] Al-Waqt (Bahrain), December 21, 2008.

[36] Al-Watan (Syria), December 17, 2008.

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