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Bush assailant kick-starts sales for shoemaker

  • Story Highlights
  • Requests have been pouring in to Turkish makers of "Model 271 brogues"
  • Istanbul-based firm have hired new staff in response to growing demand
  • Muntadhar al-Zaidi threw shoes in protest at President Bush
  • Many Iraqis hail the shoe thrower has a "patriot" and protest his arrest
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(CNN) -- The shoes thrown last week at U.S. President George W. Bush have provided an unexpected windfall for the shoemaker who made them.

TV reporter Muntadhar al-Zaidi, shown in a file photo, faces a trial for his shoe-throwing protest.

President Bush, left, ducks a shoe as Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki tries to protect him.

Sales of the shoes made famous by Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi have soared, with requests pouring in to the Turkish shoemaker from across the world, media reports said Monday.

As a result, Istanbul-based Ramazan Baydan has had to recruit extra staff to meet orders for pairs of the "Model 271 brogues," Britain's Daily Mail said.

According to the company, Model 271 shoes are exported to markets including Iraq, Iran, Syria and Egypt.

Al-Zaidi, who faces a prison term if convicted, carried out the act in front of hundreds of reporters, photographers and cameramen at a Baghdad press conference given by Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Shouting as he was dragged to the floor, the reporter called his shoe-throwing -- a traditional insult in Arab culture -- a "farewell kiss" to a "dog" who launched the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Neither shoe hit the out-going president.

While the incident angered Iraq's government, Al-Zaidi has been hailed as a hero by many Iraqis protesting his detention. In neighboring Iran, one cleric dubbed the act "the shoe intifada (rebellion)."

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"The shoe intifada in Iraq should not be overlooked easily," Iran's Islamic Republic News Agency reported Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati as saying Friday. "Well done to the Iraqi journalist for throwing the shoes at the U.S. president."

Bush himself told CNN's Candy Crowley in the aftermath of the attack that he "didn't have much time to reflect on anything (when the shoes were thrown), I was ducking and dodging."

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