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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bush's legacy to Iraq: The cowboy boot

On the day the shoe thrower was sentenced to three years imprisonment (a complete miscarriage of justice, in my opnion) it seems ironic to learn the aftermath of America’s invasion of Iraq is Arab males now want a pair of look a like leather cowboy boots (or "boose" to say it colloquially). The latest must have fashion in the mean streets of Baghdad is a pair of American Cowboy boots which are now by the Bagdad fashionista as "officials" or "rasmi," Western-style sneakers counterfeit or otherwise are passé with the young men about town. Finding real US-made boots in Baghdad is neither easy nor cheap. Most of the fancy footwear on sale is imported from Turkey or Italy and the cheapest variety comes from China. Fashion shops would love to import real cowboy boots but the costs are so far prohibitive. Motorcycle known locally as ‘Harleys’ are especially popular and are imitation black and white crocodile, slip-on styles made in Turkey and sell at between $140-150 US per pair. "Shoe boots," are also popular with young people who like to follow American fashions. Since the end of Saddam's reign people are now able to have disposable income and young consumers are turning to fashion to spend their money. So too are business types and well dressed Iraqi businessmen are wearing sharp-toed, leather footwear.

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