The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at then-US president George W. Bush in December was sentenced to three years in prison on 12 March.
Muntazer al-Zaidi pleaded “not guilty” to the charges and could have received up to 15 years in prison. He said his reaction represented the attitude of the Iraqi people at the time.
Bush was holding a good-bye trip in Iraq when al-Zaidi shouted the president was “a dog” and flung his shoes at the president, saying they were a “farewell kiss” from those who had been killed, orphaned or widowed in Iraq.
According to a BBC/ABC/NHK poll conducted in February, 62% of Iraqis surveyed said al-Zaidi was a hero. The now-infamous pair of lace-ups, Model 271, may not look spectacular at first glance, but the cotton-lined, sandy-coloured sneakers have boosted sales in a small Istanbul factory by nearly 500 percent.
Ramazan Baydan, who designed the model, said internet orders have been pouring in from all over the world, and pretty soon, 450,000 more pairs of what are now being deemed the “Bye-Bye Bush” shoes will walk the globe from Baghdad to Birmingham.