Sunday, April 3, 2016

Lionel Messi's Goodwill Was Misinterpreted

Lionel Messi
Something that started out innocently enough do not always end up being appreciated. Take the case of superstar footballer Lionel Messi.

The beloved Argentinian player offered a pair of his used football boots as a donation during an Egyptian television program on the private network MBC Masr - a private network.

"One of the things he does is give charity all over the world and these will be among the donations he gives," Egyptian presenter Mona El-Sharkawy says as she sits across from the celebrity with the red and white boots held up to the camera.

However, the goodwill gesture turned into a great offense against the Egyptian people.

"We (Egyptians) have never been so humiliated during our seven thousand years of civilization," Said Hasasin, a controversial parliament member and TV presenter responded during his program last 27 March, "I will hit you with the shoes, Messi," he said, as he held up his own shoes, and mockingly said he would donate his leather lace-ups to Argentina.

The controversy centers on the significance of shoes in Arab culture. Considered one of the lowliest of items, because it literally touches the ground, many Egyptians find it a dirty and inappropriate object.

To call someone a "gazma," the Arabic word for shoe, is a great insult. And if a family elder catches sight of your soles, say if you have your feet up, you are sure to pay the price.

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