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Millions watch Gaddafi dance the Zenga-Zenga | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Paris / Jerusalem, Asharq Al-Awsat – A mock video clip uploaded to YouTube of Colonel Gaddafi’s recent televised speech last Tuesday from in front of the Bab al-Azizah military compound has seen close to two million views in a period of just two days. In this YouTube clip, excerpts from Gaddafi’s rambling speech in which he threatened to hunt down protestors “inch by inch, house by house, home by home, alleyway by alleyway” are set to the backing of “Hey Baby” a song by American rapper Pitbull, featuring another artist, T-Pain. The video is entitled “Muammar Gaddafi – Zenga Zenga Song” which comes from Colonel Gaddafi’s repetition of the word zanqa; Arabic for alleyway.

This YouTube video clip also includes two smaller videos of a scantily-clad dancer super-imposed over Gaddafi and his speech dancing to the same track. This clip found prominence on the internet at numerous websites promoting the Libyan, and even Egyptian and Tunisian, revolutions, whilst it has also been promoted on Facebook and Twitter.

The most surprising thing however is that this video was not composed by a Libyan oppositional figure, or even an Arab, but rather by an Israeli. Noy Alooshe, aged 31, who the New York Times described as an “Israeli journalist, musician, and Internet buff” was behind this video clip which at that this article went to press had received more than 1,905,418 views. Alooshe told the New York Times that he got the idea to edit together this video after watching Gaddafi’s recent speech, as the Libyan leader “was dressed strangely and he raised his arms like at a trance party” particularly during the montage that features the most heavily in this clip, namely the latter part of the speech which saw Gaddafi not only raise his hand above his head, but also bang his fist on the podium from which he was giving his speech.

During a telephone interview conducted on Tuesday, Alooshe told Reuters news agency that “when I saw Gaddafi speaking it struck me that his cadence and his movements were perfect for a clip. It was so musical.”

Alooshe, who did not immediately identify himself as an Israeli, received many compliments for the video from Libyans and Arabs in general. However Arab internet users late tracked down Alooshe via his YouTube and Facebook profiles, discovering that he was an Israeli Jew, which led to some debate on the internet, particularly over Alooshe’s motivation.

However in spite of this the reactions to Noy Alooshe’s video have largely been positive, with one YouTube user posting “I’m a Palestinian and I want to tell the Israeli who made this video that he is a genius…this song can make peace! Good job!” and another writing “what’s the problem if he’s an Israeli? The video is still funny.”

Noy Alooshe also told the New York Times that he was a little worried about the Libyan leader surviving the uprising against him, as he could send one of his sons after him. He also revealed that he had received a message from someone he assumed to be from the Libyan opposition saying that if the Gaddafi regime is toppled, “we will dance the Zenga-Zenga in the square.”