Israeli musician becomes star of Libyan revolution

Monday, February 28, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

Israeli musician Noy Alooshe has become an international star, but in an unexpected place - on the revolution-filled streets of Libya.

Last week, embattled Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi gave a hostile speech from his palace balcony in which he vowed to fight “inch by inch, home by home, alleyway by alleyway” to hold on to power.

Alooshe watched the speech, and immediately saw hit material.

The Tel Aviv-based musician repeated the line “inch by inch…alleyway by alleyway,” altered it using auto-tuning and set it to the music of popular American hip-hop song. Alooshe then made a video showing Gaddafi delivering those defiant words, flanked by inset footage of scantily-clad women dancing provocatively.

The video went viral the minute it was uploaded to YouTube, where it is fast approaching half a million hits. And no where has it been more popular than among the rebels in Libya.

Titled “Zenga Zenga” (the Arabic word for “alleyway”), the song has become the anthem of the Libyan revolutionaries.

Of course, when some discovered that an Israeli was behind the song and video, they boycotted it and had some unkind words for Alooshe. But many more appear to have no problem with the nationality of the song’s producer, and some have even welcomed Alooshe’s participation in their uprising.

An unidentified poster on an Arabic forum wrote, “What’s the problem if he’s Israeli? The video is still funny.”

Alooshe told Israel’s Channel 2 News that one Libyan wrote to him saying that if and when Gaddafi’s regime falls, he and his fellow revolutionaries will play Zenga Zenga in the main square in Tripoli.

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