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Omani official offers $1 million for Messi’s bisht
The Emir of Qatar presented Lionel Messi with a ceremonial cloak to wear during the World Cup trophy presentation
Images of Lionel Messi being draped in a black bisht by the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, as Argentina’s captain prepared to lift the trophy on Sunday attracted praise on social media in the region as a sign of respect but drew renewed complaints from western Twitter users.
Now, Ahmed Al Barwani, a member of the Omani Shura Council and former Vice President of the Omani Lawyers Association, offered $1 million to acquire Messi’s bisht.
“My friend Messi, I congratulate you on winning the World Cup. [HH the Amir of Qatar] dazzled me as he placed a bisht, a symbol of magnanimity and wisdom, over your shoulders,” tweeted Barwani. “I’m offering you a million dollars to give me that bisht.”
Each bisht takes a week to make and goes through several stages of completion, adding different lines of gold braid to the front and arms.
The Emir of Qatar presented Lionel Messi with a bisht, a ceremonial cloak, to wear during the World Cup trophy presentation following Argentina’s dramatic victory in the World Cup final on Sunday night.
Following this gesture, images of Argentina supporters dressed in bisht appeared on social media, with support flooded in from countries including Oman, Italy, and France.
Meanwhile, the founder of the I Love Qatar network, Khalifa Al Haroon tweeted: “Any Bisht sellers out there that want to work with me on something? I want to send the entire Argentinian squad a customized bisht with their number on the back. Just a small gift of appreciation especially after the Argentinians came out saying they love the #bisht.”
In the Arab world, some excitedly called the bisht-wearing Argentine captain “Sheikh Messi”.
A bisht, also known as an aba or abaya in other Arab countries, is a garment symbolic of prestige, honor and stature. It is worn on special occasions and only by senior religious figures, political or tribal leaders, representing immense success.