Iraqi journalist who threw shoes at George Bush runs for office

Iraqi journalist who flung shoes at Bush is running for president

Modal Trigger Muntadhar al Zaidi AFP Getty Images

Remember the Iraqi journalist who missed George Bush - twice - when he flung his "size 10" shoes, one after the other, at the former U.S. president at a press conference in 2008?

"This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog", he had yelled in Arabic at Bush.

The incident made Zaidi a cult hero in much of the Arab world, which had been growing increasingly frustrated with USA policy in the Middle East following Bush's decision to invade Iraq.

Almost 7,000 candidates will vie for 329 seats in parliament in the May 12 elections.

The president is a largely ceremonial official who, according to the Iraqi constitution, "safeguards the commitment to the Constitution and the preservation of Iraq's independence, sovereignty, unity, the security of its territories in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution". He was working for Egypt-based al-Baghdadia television network at that time when he tried to attack Bush over American forces "illegal occupation" of the country.

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"That was a size 10 shoe he threw at me, you may want to know", Bush had cracked at the time.

After being released from prison, Zaidi spent time living in Lebanon and Switzerland before returning to Iraq about two months ago.

Al-Zaidi is using his 2008 protest against Bush to gather support, posting the video of the incident to his Facebook campaign page.

Having closely observed the Iraqi situation as a journalist, Al-Zaidi says he's come to the conclusion that, in the last 15 years, the Iraqi government members have failed to change the fate of the country. The image of Bush ducking from Zaidi's shoes was painted on walls and printed on T-shirts across the region. "There will be another like me", Al-Zaidi said. He occupied my country and he killed my people. Bush, however, ducked once and shielded his face next when al-Zaidi's shoe narrowly missed his head.

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