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Zanga zanga



I eat lunch at a little North African joint called al-Kawthar about twice a week. I like the food, so I had already been eating there a lot, but they play al Jazeera on the TV so since the protests I've been eating there a lot more ot catch the news. It's never very busy (I actually think they're in pretty dire straits) so it's usually just me and the cook sitting in the lobby watching TV while I eat.

Today they were showing a lot of coverage of Libya and also a bit of protests in Aman, Jordan. It got back to Libya and there were split heads and some guy that didn't know what he was doing blowing himself up with a mortar (which I'm surprised we haven't heard more of, it's bound to happen when the national armories get busted wide open by civilians even if the avg Libyan man has 6 mos service under his belt) and lots of 28 Days Later style mobs sprinting through the streets. Then it went over to a still of Gaddafi with some bullet points about him (I don't read or speak Arabic, I'm blissfully unaware) and I said to the cook "you know say what you will but the guy knows how to dress."


And she says "He's crazy!" And I said, "yeah but look at those clothes!" So, she says, "Have you seen 'Zanga zanga'?! It's song."

"About him?"

"No! Against him! It's funny you should look it up on theeeee nets."

So, I did:

I wish Admin would turn on the media code <_<

It's Gadaffi's speech from last week remixed remixed and put on a British track.

Personally, I know it's supposed to be funny, and I know that Arabs and people all over are cracking up, but I can't laugh at it. A "shibber" is a hand-length (20 cm), and "zanga" is alley. Gadaffi has asked his supporters to go shibber shibber and zanga zanga--foot by foot and street by street and house by house--killing every protestor, and while the East may be secure, in Gadaffi's zones of control he's doing just that. It's possible that the words have been mixed around such that he's been made to say something else, but--not speaking Arabic--I can't tell.

But, either way, thought I'd share the video with everyone.


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Basmati rice steamed with bay leaves. They cut chicken breast in strips and sautee them with some spices and onions and bell peppers (they crack me up bc they call chicken breast "chicken steak") and also cubed sauteed with potatoes and carrots. A really tender cut of beef cubed and cooked with bell peppers and onions. Wings that are caked with some spice, but which aren't actually very flavored or spicy, chicken thighs and legs too. chicken kabobs. fried fish. today they had some small triangular pockets with ground beef that were sort of hot but not you know like burn your mouth and some other aromatic herbs or spices in it. yams, okra (okra was brought to America by africans), greens with potatos. Lot of different lamb dishes--I really like lamb but like most Arab/Indian/Pakistani/Afghani places they leave it hacked all up and stuck to the bones, and this particular place doesn't give you a knife and I have no interest in eating with my hands, so I don't ever have any of it, but today I put some of the sauce from the lamb on my rice and it had a touch of cinnamon. cous cous with golden raisens was delicious a while back, first time I had cous cous. "spiced rice" which is basmati rice with shrimp, carrots, and saffron. pureed lentils soup. really strong, really sweet aeromatic tea.

It's actually pretty bland food unlike the Indo-Pak place near my house on the other side of town. Everything has a lot of spices in or on it--you can see them--but they're not strong. I always say North African from bad habit before I asked; I knew before I had any conversation with them that it wasn't "arab" per se because they're black, so when coworkers asked I started saying North African, but they said it's mostly Egyptian food. I mean Egypt is in North Africa but it's a small part of the region so "Egyptian" is probably more accurate.

I cracked up one day, they've been there since like, October or something, but they just put signs on the buffet for the first time last month. I was reading them and one said "lamb cocked okra." Soooo, I took a picture iwth my cellphone because :awesome: then I went and told the young girl that does the register that the sign for the okra said cocked instaed of cooked. Well, she was just like "okay!" So I'm like ".....because cocked is not really the best typo," and she's like "m hm." Cleary didn't know what a $@ is and I was not about to tell her, so I was like "no, it's a bad word so you should probably move it" and she's like "what is bad word?" so by then I was about to crack up and I'm like "a dirty word" and she was like "oh!"

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I guess I find it funny to the extent that it ridicules how over the top he is as a character. I guess I see it similar to people who photoshop Hitler speeches, just more relevant.

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Love the video, thanks for sharing.

Yeah I haven't been able to stop watchign it all day (well listenign to it in the background). Old as dude is I'm surprised he didn't break his hand.

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There's a difference between Maghrebien food and Egyptian food. Berbers and Egyptians make up what is North Africa. Difference is cuisine from the Maghreb is different. They prefer to use rice, Egypt is more bread based. Moroccan is often known for lamb and couscous whereas Egypt is more known for things more common to the contemporary Middle East in grape leaves, lentil soup, falafal, etc. However something all North African dishes have in common, both Egyptian and Berber, is our extreme use of vegetables in our cuisine. Meat is expensive in that region so they'll create amazing ways to make vegetables delectable.

Also yes we don't use very many spices, the seasonings we use are mild- we do fall under the Mediterranean region after all. We're more based on the seasonings bringing out the flavor rather than making up the dish.

Oh, and the northern parts of North Africa weren't "black." The norther edges of North Africa fall under the Mediterranean region and while definitely upper Egypt, and southern areas of the Maghreb are for the most part "black" the northern regions appeared to have developed a different phenotype over time due to the climate. I guess originally we were "black" though, not sure. Just don't ask a Eurocentric or Afrocentric that question.

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