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Man offers daughter as wife to shoe 'hero'

CAIRO: An Egyptian man said yesterday he was offering his 20-year-old daughter in marriage to Iraqi journalist Muntazer Al Zaidi, who threw his shoes at the US President George W Bush in Baghdad on Sunday.

The daughter, Amal Saad Gumaa, said she agreed with the idea.

"This is something that would honour me. I would like to live in Iraq, especially if I were attached to this hero," she told Reuters.

Her father, Saad Gumaa, said he had called Dergham, Zaidi's brother, with the offer.

"I find nothing more valuable than my daughter to offer to him, " he said.

Amal is a student in the media faculty at Minya University in central Egypt.

Meanwhile, across the Middle East, rival shoemakers have claimed it was they who created the footwear flung at Bush.

Suggestions have been made that they came from cobblers in Turkey or Lebanon - or, like most of the shoes in Iraq, are Chinese-made. But the brother of Zaidi dismissed such reports:

Udai Al Zaidi said they came from the Baghdad factory of Iraqi shoemaker Alaa Haddad.

Hosseini, a senior Iranian cleric, who is supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's representative in Syria, praised him for a "very important and historic" act.

The incident has inspired a spate of Internet games where the players hurl footwear at moving targets of Bush.

Zaidi may be tried on charges that could carry a 15-year prison term, said a spokesman for Iraq's High Judicial Council.



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