Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi giving his speech
Photo: Reuters
Benghazi rallies against Gaddafi
Photo: AP

Zenga Zenga: From Tel Aviv to Tripoli

(Video) Israeli musician turns Muammar Gaddafi's speech into upbeat video clip with over 300,000 views on YouTube. Song becomes Libyan opposition's revolution anthem, receives props from Arab world

VIDEO - "Gaddafi's speech had all the makings of a hit," says Israeli musician Noy Alooshe, 31, about his idea to combine an upbeat tune to the harsh statements made by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. "Repeating the words 'Zenga zenga', his unique outfit, lifting his arms up in triumph like he's at a party – I just added some club music to it and thought it would be a funny joke."


Alooshe's "joke" has become very popular these past few days, with over 300,000 views on YouTube. The music clip - entitled "Zenga Zenga" - has become the Libyian opposition's anthem and an instant online hit.


The music video combines lines from Gaddafi's speech in which he vows to fight "inch by inch, home by home, alley by alley" - as the chorus for the song. The clip pokes fun at Gaddafi, showing minimally dressed women dancing in the background.


"If you are the first to come up with a good product and promote it on Facebook and Twitter, then you're on your way to success," explained Alooshe.


The 'Zenga Zenga' clip  


His hit song managed to attract quite a response from countries across the Middle East and excite many young Arabs during these tumultuous times.


The Libyan opposition chose to use the song for its online protests. Countries across the world, as well as Israel, used the video to show the Libyan people are no longer afraid to make fun of their leader.


Compliments from Arab world

The success of the clip did not surprise Alooshe, a journalist, musician and internet personality known for another musical hit - "I want girls."


"I've received messages from internet surfers across the Arab world - Bahrain, Iraq, Egypt and Libya of course," he said. "Most of them don't even know that I'm a Jewish Israeli."


After revealing the fact that an Israeli artist was behind the clip, many compliments turned into remarks of blasphemy and threats. One man even claimed it was all an Israeli conspiracy meant to create a division in the Arab world.


"There were some people who cursed me and wrote 'death to Israel', which was kind of disappointing," said Alooshe. "Someone from Egypt wrote: 'It's true that you're Israeli and I hate you, but you made an amazing remix.'"


Some people were furious about the partially naked dancer, so Alooshe quickly released a modest version of the clip, which has gotten over 20,000 hits already.


What's next? Alooshe said an Israeli company which distributes ringtones to the Arab world took an interest in his clip and that "Zenga Zenga" has become Twitter slang.


"It shows how the world is connected and that's the beautiful thing about the internet," he said. "I was offered to make another clip called 'Bonga Bonga' for Berlusconi with female dancers."


Alooshe, of Tunisian descent, has yet to compose the anthem for the Tunisian revolution, but he might be forever part of history, remembered as the man who contributed to the fall of the Libyan dictatorship and maybe other regimes across the area with a simple song.


"I've had people from Kuwait write me saying: 'I wish peace will come' and other guys from Libya say: 'when Gaddafi falls we'll play this song in the square," said Alooshe. "It's amazing but a bit scary as well – what if Gaddafi stays in power and comes looking for me?"


Eti Abramov contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 02.28.11, 08:13
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