How I became Moussa Koussa

Ilya posting as Moussa Koussa
Minnesota, United States of America

Moussa – dresser very snazzy!
To prepare for Benghazi!
Moussa go atelier!
To spruce up his derriere!

Moussa jump at hand of tailor!
Is hand more like horny sailor!
Moussa pinched by nasty pinch
Moussa buttock painful clinch!

Very awkward situation!
In the midst of alteration!
No Moussa fancy suit!
Because pervert man pursuit!

Moussa got Benghazi blues!
These are Mousa Koussa news!

I wrote that. I posted it on AJE Libyan blog as Moussa Koussa in April, 2011.

Who the heck is Moussa Koussa?

He sounds quite like a nuisance.

Moussa Koussa was Gaddafi’s Foreign Minister whose notorious defection hours before April Fools’ Day made his the most tweeted name for the next 48 hours. If a man is implicated not only with the Lockerbie bombing but also with the deaths of tens of thousands of Libyans in the decades since the ’60s, he is a scumbag of the highest order. MK is probably the most identified and hated name in the Libyan world outside of a Gaddafi.

So why would anyone chose that moniker?

‘Cause it’s funnier than “2nd Harmonica” (who is also a member of our group.)

But there’s more to it than that. His name sounds downright Seussean. It begs to be rhymed and alliterated. Maybe his name trended so long on Twitter for the same reason. There are deeper reasons, sure. But first and foremost, the handle Moussa Koussa held comedic literary value. I chose to “become” MK as a joke, to ridicule the man.

And who are you?
A Russian Jew!

I’m a Russian Jew, one of a million my former motherland traded for sacks of wheat back in the ’70s. I came to America as a 13-year old, went to high school, college and graduate school here. I’m a scientist and a bleeding heart liberal. You might think involvement in social justice causes like supporting a struggle for human rights in Libya a natural fit. But if you think about it, being liberal could’ve just as easily made me anti-war, period. So, how did a Russian Jew become so involved in Libya? Well, that’s what this story is about.

OK, but what’s this blog on Al Jazeera?
Read! And answer will be clear!

That’s the easy part. Where does one get his news fix? American mass media blonds down its news. Fox started it, and CNN all too eagerly grabbed the baton. BBC coverage of the Arab Spring was great, up until the natural tragedy in Japan went nuclear. Then, the only place I could get my news fix became Al Jazeera.

So, since late February I’ve been reading AJE and, being a Russian Jew, I very hesitantly at first posted innocuous comments there under an innocent penname. That changed when the notorious scumbag Moussa Koussa defected. On the threshold of April Fools’ Day at that! As soon as I grabbed that moniker and started posting my Seussean “News O’Moussa Koussa”, for reasons still unclear AJE dramatically curtailed its coverage of Libya. Live interactive blogs stopped being updated on a daily basis, the news became sparse, my virtual friends started feeling uneasy.

In mid-April I launched our koussa.info site almost on a whim. Late one night, one my friends from across the globe jokingly pitched the idea of reserving an MK site. Again, for the shear humor value, I did a quick search to find out that all the good moussa’s were taken, all the good moussakoussa’s were gone, but inexplicably koussa.info was still up for grabs. For under two bucks a year! That was a no-brainer.

Reader know what she in for
When she visit koussa.info

With an initial half a dozen virtual friends we set up an authentication procedure and began dropping hints for AJE posters we liked to join. We turned away as many as we authenticated, and in a matter of 4 months, we had grown to 100 “certified” members and nearly 100,000 visits.

So, how and why did a Russian Jew get so involved?

Russian Jews tend to get involved in the most unexpected undertakings.

In short, I got involved to keep the friends I made on AJE, but more importantly, because others wanted to as well. The long answer is complicated, and involves spending my formative years as refugee, which resonates within my heart with the similar, yet more difficult, universal struggle of the Libyan people.

35 years ago my family was traded for a sack of wheat.

We may never find out how big a sack, but the exchange rate doesn’t really matter. Back then, how much grain per Jew the Soviets got fluctuated with the annual magnitude of the collective farming fiasco.

Fast forward three dozen years.

Hop over the Iron Curtain and into the Sahara. Look at Tunisia, Libya, Egypt. Hug the Mediterranean Coast NE, and take a right into Syria.

Look around.

Until this year, human life still had no value at your local dictatorship.

This is why I feel so connected with the Arab Spring.

Their struggle for basic dignity and universal freedoms resonates in me. It simmers in all our hearts. When that simmer comes to boil, look out dictators! In the end, our shared passions and fears connect us simply and personally in this increasingly sophisticated and impersonal world.