The Iraqi journalist, who shot to instant fame for throwing his shoes at George W Bush, has been inundated with offers of cars, homes, money and even a wife in the run up to his release from prison, a media report said.
“This is your farewell kiss, you dog. This is for the widows and orphans of Iraq,” Muntazer al-Zaidi had said while throwing a pair of shoes at the then U.S. President, Mr. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad last December.
Now, in preparation for his early release next Monday, following a presidential pardon, the offers are rolling in for Mr. Zaidi who has won the adulation of millions in the Arab world, The Guardian reported.
A new four-bedroom home has been built by his former boss. A new car — and the promise of many more — awaits. And pledges of harems, money and healthcare are pouring in to his employers, the al-Baghdadia television channel.
“One Iraqi who lived in Morocco called to offer to send his daughter to be Mr. Muntazer’s wife. Another called from Saudi offering $10 million for his shoes and another called from Morocco offering a gold-saddled horse.
“After the event, we had callers from Palestine and many women asking to marry him, but we didn’t take their names. Many of their reactions were emotional. We’ll see what happens when he’s freed,” said Editor Abdul Hamid al-Saij.
However, Mr. Zaidi — sentenced to three years in jail by an Iraqi court for throwing shoes at Mr. Bush — told his brothers, Maitham and Vergam, that he has plans to open an orphanage when he leaves jail and will not work again as a journalist.
“He doesn’t want his work to be a circus. Every time he asked someone a difficult question they would’ve responded by asking whether he’s going to throw his shoes at them,” said Mr. Vergam.