A Country I Could Call Home, an open letter from an Armenian-Syrian DACA recipient


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Since the “victory” of Donald J. Trump, white nationalism has removed its own veil.

Layers and layers.

It has always existed. In fact, it is the original sin of America.

Even when I arrived here in 1995, I felt it.

It was all around me. I could smell it. I could taste it.

I hated it; and I knew what it was responsible for.

My fellow minorities. My own people. Me.

I didn’t learn I was “undocumented” until I turned 16.

My mother turned to me and said “Danny you aren’t like the other kids. You don’t have … papers… you can’t work.”

I was quite emotional. I didn’t take it well. How could anyone? The strange thing is, I kind of knew the implications. I always knew something was off about our stay here in America. Something was always wrong.

Even in the Middle East, we lived in Riyadh, and for a Syrian mother and Syrian-Armenian father, nothing could be further out of place for us.

It was as though America  was always our destination. Our salvation.

But even upon our coming here – the struggle persisted.

20 years later, 2017 it continues.

2008 was our 1960. President Obama was elected. For the bitter colonial minded minorities it was “nothing to be proud about”. They’d returned to the slave mentality. For white nationalists, it was spelling the beginning of their doom.

His middle name was Hussein. And for a brown (olive) kid like me, it warmed my heart a little.

Then he passed DACA.

For a decade, I had lived as a ghost in a country that rejected me.

I worked under the table jobs.

But I cherish those moments. Some of the best moments of my life.

It was my version of the American Dream, the only difference is, my story would never be told. It would never be embraced. Because the majority of America is white, and doesn’t sympathize with the minority struggle.

That is precisely why the current president is a white supremacist.

I remember working with hispanics, moroccans, Jews, Tunisians & Libyans. We come from the Middle East (West Asia) where taboos prevent women from working and such. But America was much different. My mother could barely speak english. In less than 5 years, she became the manager of a jewelry store, financed my entire education and my sister’s education, cooked and cleaned for us, while my father worked tirelessly. All this and could barely make ends meet. I remember countless arguments over debts and money shortages. It was traumatic as a kid. I think I still have anxiety as a result of it. But the love was there. And so was our faith. We could never be separated. Not then, not now, not ever!

Things were different back then. Before 9/11 – people could find work opportunities and even go to school if their papers weren’t exactly “straight”. After 9/11 everything changed.

When I found out I could not attend university after high school I was devastated. All the work I put in meant nothing.

In my younger days my parents worked so much and my older sister was so occupied with school I spent most of days with friends, most of whom were ethnic of the lower stratum of the American socio-economic sphere.

That’s when I started diving into my creative side, inspired by my grandfather. Yervant Krikorian was the first Armenian-Syrian to ever attend MIT. Yes, you read that right. MIT, the famed technological institute in Boston. The problem was he didn’t stay long enough in the US for us to earn citizenship through him. He returned to Syria due to family circumstances and financial shortcomings. He earned his PhD; but his dreams were never realized.

I was meant to live out that dream.

My father would always tell me tales of our “fabled” Armenian royal ancestry and the magnificent wonder of my grandfather; the elegance of my great grandmother, a Cypriot-Armenian. I appreciated this all so much, but tragically it didn’t match up to the reality I faced as an immigrant at the bottom of the barrel.

Fast forward to 2017.

Currently I am a graduate student of political science at the University of Central Florida. It was Obama’s legislation that made this possible. Before DACA, I was even denied entry to a community college. It was literally through the miraculous help of a sympathetic hispanic lady that I managed to register at a local community college. But when Obama passed DACA, I was finally able to attend university. Even though I had the grades, I couldn’t before. I was in AP classes in high school. But it didn’t matter. Anyway, I was finally in at UCF – although at first, they too almost denied me for bureaucratic reasons. They literally didn’t even know what DACA was at the registration office it seemed. When I handed them my “Employment Authorization ID” they were dumbfounded. It was amazing that I could finally attend a major university. But because I was denied all forms of scholarships or federal financial aid which I overwhelmingly qualified for, I had to work during my college career, and my academic performance suffered. It did not stop me however. I was totally broken when I was denied entry to UCF’s MA program initially. After 3 years of just waiting I decided to reapply and was admitted. Now, I am in my final semesters in the program, and without any form of financial aid let me tell you it has been the most difficult journey. My family lives just near the poverty line…they can barely afford to help; themselves at best.

Trump’s government is “reassuring” ‘Dreamers’ all will be well but none of this was necessary to begin with. I’ve experienced and educated myself on racism far too long to be blind to the agendas of the current regime & its voter base.

A close friend introduced me to Hip-Hop when I was in my teenage years. Perhaps they saw my interest in poetry and music and thought to mold it into something more tangible and culturally relevant. I was learning to speak the Hip-Hop language.

It wasn’t until my dreams of educating myself and being a political leader were dashed that I retreated to Hip-Hop.

It was my outlet of expression. My solidarity. My refuge.

Just recently I released a song that captures much of what I am trying to say here. But I still felt the need to write this.

I am an Armenian-Syrian and I am a descendant of genocides, exiles & exoduses. I have seen my people subject to occupation and indignation, and I have experienced alienation literally in a country that denied my humanity for so long. Even after alleviating our pain and suffering and granting us some sense of normalcy, Obama’s legacy is being insulted and reversed by this white nationalist megalomania. Furthermore, American and global indifference towards the plight of those around the world engaged in similar struggles for liberation has delegitimized the image of this nation and & the value of liberty itself.

We must look in the mirror and ask ourselves about our own complicity in manufacturing these global crises which have devastated lives.

There is no time.

Please support me by listening & sharing my new song which reflects on the plight of all DREAMers seeking to protect DACA. The link is below. A special thanks to all community leaders, members of faith, friends, family, legislators & business executives for expressing solidarity, compassion & resistance in the face of this human atrocity. I pray for our deliverance and trust in the Almighty that it will be achieved. And for those who utter the Lord’s name hypocritically, for their own narrow agenda, are among the gravest of sinners. Amen.

Danny K live with NIKO IS & friends at Red Lion’s Pub Orlando


Man I’m humbled to take the stage with these magnificent musicians of all manifestations. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my sufi revelations with you // special thanks to Red Lion Pub for having us:

Analyzing Political Undertones in Pop Culture Through Art


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There is generally speaking a list of artistic works that, despite their aesthetic greatness, are either historically misrepresentative & inaccurate or merely biased in context and coverage.

Some do justice, some don’t. Perception all depends on which angle you look at the subject. I wish for justice for all, but we must recognize, expose & bring to justice those distinct forces which cause & instigate violent political crime.

Munich, Waltz with Bashir, & Exodus, viewed as biased & racist. Black & Arab culture, disenfranchised, used, exploited, hung & dried.

A more accurate depiction of reality in the Middle East in Palestinian film Paradise Now.

Another, more realistic representation of the ME in a scene from Syriana, which features George Clooney & Matt Damon.

How Hollywood & all of western media distorts reality through film & other mediums of mass mainstream expression.

This rather, light film depicts the similarities, and differences, between the Arab & Israeli people. But recognition of Israel implies two things: treachery to the Arab cause; abandoning the human rights of the Palestinian nation.

Is it unfair for the international community to suggest that the Jews are fine without a state called Israel? The difference between the need for an Armenian state, for example, versus a Jewish one, is that the former is completely ethnic-based while the latter is a hybrid of religion, culture and language. This makes it difficult to place importance on the need for a Jewish state while ignoring Palestinian self-determination.

Individuals like Helen Thomas get blacklisted for making comments such as those in the video below:

If there is a moral arc of the universe, it bends in favor of the Westerner & the lighter-skinned.

THE WORLD TO COME


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Israel?


Israel?

Is the two-state solution, like the entirety of the concept of a ‘Modern Israel” – a farce? Demographics, as well as rational science, as well as religion, altogether, show that Palestinians not only outnumber Jews – they are living under apartheid-like conditions; without sovereignty, dignity, and and natural human rights. The tale is that this is the Jews’ home. Even if that is true – why demand the existence of a 5000 year old zionist state? It is not only scientifically bewildering but even theologically inaccurate – according to both ancient Jewish, Islamic and Christian religious texts.

The horrors of the holocaust are now only being repeated in Palestine, which only serves to paint a new picture where the inhumane Nazi extermination plan eventually fulfilled the creation of another fascist state – Israel. The British ensured the creation of Israel, when the Jews could have merely enjoyed living as nationals in other countries, celebrating their religion – I mean, the Nazis were defeated eventually, were they not? You see, unlike the ‘concept’ of Israel, Palestine is a secular country belonging to all religions. Zionism, au contraire, is the new Nazism folks.

[LINK TO FP ARTICLE BELOW]

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/03/02/america_plan_israel_two_state

too many thoughts on my mind feeling doubtful,too


too many thoughts on my mind feeling doubtful,

too many people in my circle still without you,

all i hear is voices creeping into my soul,

eating me a live and never letting go,

what would you if you didn’t have a choice,

let alone the courage to spit half your voice,

sometimes I wonder why I get like this,

asking questions never gets you shit,

this life is horses and hoes running around laughing about,

people say things they know nothing about,

i have a hatred deeply embedded,

but this art pardon my humor I’m indebted,

my whole life is a debt, I owe everybody,

If God made bank tellers I must be their monopoly,

What do I if I’m closed and shut out,

My mind just gives out, I got nothing to get out,

Blind people and my mind won’t let me,

Step up to the plate smoke weed and get with it,

It’s time to take over the game and show these people what I am,

I believe a lot of stupid shit,

now I’m losing it, grip, confusing it with things I don’t usually get,

Listen, I’m tired,

Dripping wet, lackluster, I need inspiration,

Some real shit, from the soul of the impatient,

I been wasted, writing rhymes on thin pavement,

Live basic, get hated, live high and de-bated,

Fuck.


The immigration system in America must be fixed before it is too broken.

I am an immigrant in this country and I will say that I have suffered quite enough going through the bureaucratic system, having my case delayed and delayed, waiting for D.C. politicians to make up their mind on immigration policy.

In order to have better control over the flow of immigrants into and out of the country, America must improve its security apparatus, but on top of that, it has to address the source of the problem too, on top of dealing with the immigrants who are already here.

The source of the problem is a matter of international relations and global politics, as most immigrants escape countries that are war-torn, impoverished, or tightly controlled by an authoritative government. Such is the case with Cuba, Syria, Russia, Mexico, etc. 

In order for America to truly serve its immigration problem not just in the short term but also in the long term, it must address these issues of global politics.

As for the immigrants who have live here in the U.S. and who struggle to be treated as normal human beings, citizens with the same rights and privileges as any other human being and American, it is time for us all to to relieved, and to be granted the opportunity to pursue a life of prosperity and happiness.

To all the places in the world from where immigrants escape daily to avoid misery, I pray for you all, that you find justice and freedom too.