Last December, Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi made headlines across the world when he hurled his shoes at President Bush during a press conference in Baghdad. Although al-Zaidi was originally sentenced to three years in prison, Iraqi courts recently decided to release him on Sept. 14 for “good behavior.” Now, the Guardian is reporting that al-Zaidi is being inundated “by offers and gifts” from all over his country:
From his prison cell, Zaidi has a sense of the gathering fuss, but not the full extent of the benefactors and patrons preparing for his release.
A new four-bedroom home has been built by his former boss. A new car — and the promise of many more — awaits.
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 Muntazer’s wife,” said editor Abdul Hamid al-Saij.
“Another called from Saudi offering $10m for his shoes, and another called from Morocco offering a gold-saddled horse.
For his part, al-Zaidi has told the press that he plans to leave journalism and open an orphanage upon his release.