Thursday, December 18, 2008

Product placement: With attitude

It appears across the Middle East, rival shoemakers are now claiming it was their shoes that Muntadhar al-Zaidi threw at U.S. President George W. Bush. Not since the trial of OJ Simpson have shoes taken on such notoriety. The vast majority of shoes sold in Iraq are made in China but fears the journalist’s shoes may have been made in Turkey or Lebanon has sparked a national fervour amongst the countries shoe men to claim the footwear their own. The shoes are now heroes and the Iraqi loyal want them to be ‘the best’ and Iraqi made. There is a scurry to find the provenance of the shoes with many people believing they were bought in Beirut. According to reports
Udai Al Zaidi has confirmed the shoes came from the Baghdad factory of Iraqi shoemaker Alaa Haddad.

Meantime over the border in Turkey, Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak carried a front page picture of the design, alongside the headline "Made in Turkey." According to the manufacturer, he designed the style in 1999, and orders from Iraq had increased by 100 percent since the Bush incident. Shadows of O J Simpson, again, where the disputed loafers once identified as critical evidence instantly became a best seller with people keen to be seen wearing the same shoes (Bruno Magli)as the accused murderer. Macabre or what?

One thing that should reassure all and that is according to the Turkish manufacturer had his shoe hit the target then it would have been painless because it was made from such soft leather.

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