As his size 10s spun through the air towards George W Bush, Muntazer al-Zaidi – the man the world now knows as the shoe-thrower – was bracing for an American bullet.
"He thought the secret service was going to shoot him," says Zaidi's younger brother, Maitham. "He expected that, and he was not afraid to die."
Zaidi's actions during the former US president's swansong visit to Iraq last December have not stopped reverberating in the nine months since.
Next Monday, when the journalist walks out of prison, his 10 raging seconds, which came to define his country's last six miserable years, are set to take on a new life even more dramatic than the opening act.
Across Iraq and in every corner of the Arab world, Zaid