tuque /tūk/ n Canadian English, var. toque [19th c. Canadian French, from the French toque, from the Basque tauka] 1 A close-fitting knitted cap, often with a long tapering end or tassel or pompom. 2 fig Something quintessentially Canadian.
souq /sūk/ n from the Arabic سوق var. souk 1 An open-air marketplace. 2 fig A central meeting place for the circulation of news and ideas.
Monday, December 15, 2008
'Shoe Intifada' sweeps Iraq; Bush flees to safety in Afghanistan
A day after receiving the first blow in the Shoe Intifada now sweeping Iraq, U.S. President George W. Bush fled to Afghanistan where he is reportedly safe and taking refuge in the company of that country's one-time hope for a successful president, Hamid Karzai.
Back in Iraq, that country is ablaze in a firestorm of flying shoes, as Iraqis react to Sunday's incident in which Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi through his shoes at Dubya while the latter was giving a press conference with Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki.
Expressing a version of free speech with a gesture known to be a terrible insult in Islamic culture - being the target of a shoe missile means one is lower than the dirt beneath one's feet - al-Zaidi shouted invective at Bush on behalf of the many thousands of Iraqis killed since the U.S.-led occupation began in 2003. He was quickly wrestled away from the press conference and jailed.
While reaction across Iraq was mixed - some Iraqis felt the incident brought shame on the country by disrespecting a guest, while others called it a modest gesture of frustration directed at the man who plunged Iraq into 5+ years of chaos - the experts felt the attack was prudent.
The AFP caught up with one such expert - a Cairo shoe-shiner named Ahmad Ali - who noted: "As far as I'm concerned, as he long as he hit him using a shoe it's perfect."
Meanwhile, Khalil al-Dulaimi, one of the lawyers who defended Saddam Hussein, has agreed to represent al-Zaidi as defence counsel in what is sure to be nothing more than a farcical Shoe Trial.