Emirati TV host ridiculed for saying he would kiss UAE crown prince's sandals

Emirati TV host ridiculed for saying he would kiss UAE crown prince's sandals
An Emirati television presenter has become the subject of social media ridicule after demonstrating how he would kiss the footwear of Abu Dhabi's crown prince.
2 min read
21 March, 2019
The television presenter is seen kissing and placing the sandal on his head [Screenshot]
An Emirati television host has been ridiculed on social media after saying that he would kiss the sandals of the UAE's de-facto ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed.

In Arab cultures, the shoe has long been used as the object of insults due to its association with dirt and being put on the foot.

Holding a brown sandal in his hands, the presenter tells viewers that if he were asked by the Abu Dhabi crown prince - who is widely known as MbZ - to kiss his sandal, he would agree.

He is then seen kissing the sandal, before adding that he would also place the prince's footwear on top of his head.

Using an Arabic-language hashtag which translates as "The Emirati people accept the kissing of Mohammed bin Zayed's sandals", social media users tore into the presenter's odd gesture.

"God honoured humans and they humiliate themselves," wrote one twitter user.

"God bless you bin Zayed, how do you do it," wrote another in amusement at the TV host's bizarre display.

This is not the first time, however, that television hosts have slavishly showed their affection for Arab dictators.

In the months that followed Egypt's military coup - led by now President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi - many supporters of the military took to Egypt's streets with shoes on their heads to show their support for his regime. 

In 2015, Tunisian journalist Kawthar al-Bashrawi used the connotations related to footwear in Arab culture to convey her deep sense of admiration for the Syrian regime's army by kissing a boot in a television interview.

The boot, which Bashrawi described as "the most precious gift in my life", was allegedly given to her by a Syrian regime soldier in Damascus.

Some pro-Assad supporters have mimicked this act by placing army boots on their head during regime orchestrated rallies in Damascus.