A YouTube video spoof of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi has tickled the Arab funny bone, even though the creator is an Israeli.
The setting, the circumstances, and Qaddafi's wild exclamations, cadence and gesticulations provided the perfect combination to spoof the Libyan madman.
Addressing the Libyan population on February 22 from the bombed-out remains of the place where President Reagan had attacked in the 1980s, Qaddafi set himself up to be mocked. He swore to hunt down his enemies "inch by inch, house by house, home by home, alleyway by alleyway."
Qaddafi repeated the Arabic word for alleyway, zanqa, which 31 year-old Israeli satirist Noy Alooshe tweaked as "zenga" as he altered the Libyan former leader's speech with computerized pitch correcter technology and set to music by American rapper Pit Bull, as performed by T Pain. Alooshe edited the footage and added images of a gyrating young woman dancing to Qaddafi's rant set to music, and called the video "Zenga Zenga."
The video was an instant hit, generating more than 500,000 views in a few days (and more than 800,000 as of this posting). But even though some Arab and Muslim viewers didn't like learning that the satirist was an Israeli Jew, most who commented seemed to appreciate the video, with some even asking Alooshe to create a new video without the scantily-dressed dancing woman, so they could show it to their parents, the Times reports.
Libyans were already laughing at Qaddafi as he made the speech, but Zenga Zenga has propelled the dictator's defiant rant into Arab pop culture.
One viewer, presumed to be with the Libyan opposition, wrote Alooshe that once Qaddafi falls, “We will dance to ‘Zenga-Zenga’ in the square.”