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Protesting Egyptians hold shoes aloft, an insult in Arab culture

It was big news in 2008 when then President George W. Bush had a shoe thrown at him by an Iraqi journalist during a visit to Baghdad. In the streets of Cairo, Egyptians who are protesting Hosni Mubarak are brandishing their footwear, an insult in Arab cultures.

Dylan Martinez / Reuters

Protestors demonstrate in Tahrir Square in Cairo Feb. 1.

Chris Hondros / Getty Images

A protester shows the sole of their shoe, a grave insult in Arab Muslim countries, as a reaction after Egyptian president Hosni Mubarek gave a speech to the nations on a projected television screen in Tahrir Square February 1, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt.

Dec. 15: Neither of the shoes thrown at President Bush during a press conference Sunday hit their mark, but the act itself continued to hit a nerve Monday, both in Iraq and in Washington. NBC's Richard Engel reports.


See more images from the protests in Egypt.