Web Game Lets You Throw Shoes at Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

In much of the Arab world, throwing your shoe at someone is considered one of the most severe (if also one of the least practical) ways of showing disrespect. Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi channeled his country's rage when he threw a loafer at President George W. Bush in 2008, protesters in Egypt expressed their disgust with an early February speech by President Hosni Mubarak by hurling hundreds of shoes at a screen displaying the address, and Yemenis did the same for their president in March.

Now you too can get in on the fun of throwing shoes at a reviled Arab dictator. An Arabic-language web game pits you against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose animated form ducks and weaves behind a podium as you try and nail him with shoes. If you hit Assad, whose brutal crackdown has killed hundreds of protesters and sent thousands fleeing to refugee camps, he makes a sound like Woody Woodpecker. But you only have 100 loafers to throw, so use your ammo carefully. Here's a screenshot of the action:

assadshoegame.jpg
You can play the game at BasharShoe.com. Fans of Arab-shoe-throwing-related gaming may remember the similar web game that popped up after the Iraqi journalist's 2008 zapaterial assault, at the impeccably named SockAndAwe.com.


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Max Fisher is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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