Shoe-throwing journo standing for parliament
Love and beauty go hand in hand for Brazilian senior
AN Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at US President George W Bush during a news conference a decade ago is standing for parliament, campaigning against corruption and the sectarianism that has plagued his country.
TV correspondent Muntazer al-Zaidi became famous across Iraq and the Middle East after throwing his footwear at Bush during a news conference in Baghdad in 2008, shouting “This is a ROSALIA Pereira had two reasons to celebrate on Thursday – her miraculously rekindled true love 40 years to the day after their first date and being crowned Sao Paulo’s senior beauty queen.
“Today is even more special because of this,” the 62-year-old said after winning the beauty contest, which aims to give the elderly a bit of fun just before Mother’s Day tomorrow.
“To participate, to have the courage to participate, is proof that the elderly today are active and this is very good, because it boosts everyone’s confidence,” Pereira said.
Now in its 15th year, the contest is run by a community centre for the elderly.
“This is part of social inclusion, getting people out of their houses,” the centre’s social integration director, Nilton da Silva Guedes, said.
Divorced mother-of-two Pereira, a commercial manager, is no stranger to the catwalk, having won another title in her suburb in 2016.
But what is beauty without love? Pereira said her greatest achievement was “rediscovering the big love of my life”.
She recently rekindled a relationship with her very first boyfriend after he found her through Facebook, 35 years after she turned down his marriage proposal. “I was very young . . . Afterwards, I regretted it,” she said.
When they met again, she was 60. “The next day, he asked me to marry him and put a ring on my finger.”
Thursday was 40 years to the day since their first date. – AFP farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog!“
Today, Zaidi is standing for parliament as a member of the movement of firebrand Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose militia waged a violent campaign against the US military during its occupation of Iraq, but who has lately redefined himself as an opponent of militant sectarianism.
Sadr argues that the sectarian and ethnic parties representing Iraq’s Shi’ites, Sunnis and Kurds, dominant since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, have abused their power and looted the state. The Sadrists have formed an unlikely alliance with the Communists and other secular groups.
Zaidi’s shoe-throwing divided opinion in Iraq at the time.
A decade on, reaction to his candidacy in the election this weekend has been similarly mixed.
“What he did was correct: the country was under occupation,” said Mohannad Ibrahim.
Journalist Haider Qassem, 41, disagreed. “He is not fit to be a candidate, he is not even fit to be a low-ranking civil servant. He has no manners. A journalist should be cultured. You can’t just throw shoes.” – Reuters
STILL GOT IT: Rosalia Pereira was crowned senior beauty queen