People throughout the Middle East have been watching events in Tunisia quite closely, and Mumar Khadafi's actions seem almost too ripe for spoofing, particularly with the body count his loyalists and mercenaries are racking up.
Yet, this video seems to have struck a chord with people around the world.
Noy Alooshe, 31, an Israeli journalist, musician and Internet buff, said he saw Colonel Qaddafi’s televised speech last Tuesday in which the Libyan leader vowed to hunt down protesters “inch by inch, house by house, home by home, alleyway by alleyway,” and immediately identified it as a “classic hit.”
“He was dressed strangely, and he raised his arms” like at a trance party, Mr. Alooshe said in a telephone interview on Sunday. Then there were Colonel Qaddafi’s words with their natural beat.
Mr. Alooshe spent a few hours at the computer, using Auto-Tune pitch corrector technology to set the speech to the music of “Hey Baby,” a 2010 electro hip-hop song by American rapper Pitbull, featuring another artist, T-Pain. He titled it “Zenga-Zenga,” echoing Col. Qaddafi’s repetition of the word zanqa, Arabic for alleyway.
By the early hours of Wednesday morning Mr. Alooshe had uploaded the remix to YouTube, and began promoting it on Twitter and Facebook, sending the link to the pages of young Arab revolutionaries. By Sunday, the original clip had more than 400,000 hits and had gone viral.
Mr. Alooshe, who at first did not identify himself on the clip as an Israeli, started receiving enthusiastic messages from all around the Arab world. Surfers soon discovered that he was a Jewish Israeli from his Facebook profile — Mr. Alooshe plays in a band called Hovevey Zion, or the Lovers of Zion — and some of the accolades turned to curses. A few also found the video distasteful.
But the reactions have largely been positive, including a personal message Mr. Alooshe said he received from someone he assumed to be a Libyan saying that if and when the Qaddafi regime falls, the liberated Libyans would dance to Zenga-Zenga.
The original clip features mirror images of a scantily clad woman dancing along to Colonel Qaddafi’s rant. Mr. Alooshe said he got many requests from surfers who asked him to provide a version without the dancer so that they could show it to their parents, which he did. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GcUutnU2gk).