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:
There are so many opportunities I, and many like me, were denied due to institutional obstacles for immigrants, even one like me, who has lived in the US since he was 6. That was in 1996. It’s now 2016, and I’m 28. I still have no status anywhere except Syria, my home country, which for the most part, has been ravaged by yet another global war.
My story begins in Riyadh. I was born there because like most Arab expatriates, my father found work in Saudi. I am of the so-called generation from Riyadh.
When I moved to the US, it was for similar reasons – cultural freedom, economic opportunity – the sort of scarce liberalism you could not find in the Middle East anymore. Especially after the fall of the Shah, the Lebanese Civil War, and the post-WWII era which saw a combination of colonialism, religious extremism, sectarianism and political primitiveness in the form of authoritarianism – hopes for freedom of any kind were wishful thinking.
Now, I’m 28, searching to establish my footing in America – specifically here in Orlando, FL. Though I know I belong in New York, or LA. I need to be there now. I wish to act too, and direct – put this novel[s] of mine into action. I have come across obstacles here too though, in America. They have been social and economic, since in the free world, democracy limits conflict between civilians – at least to a certain degree relative to non-democracies, where law and order are swept under a dirty rug of lies blood and slander. What I mean is, democracy means we compete without violence – but that doesn’t guarantee justice. Unfortunately nothing or no one can – but God. Trusting any man or group of men with too much power is dangerous though. In the West, struggles are social – against conformity and pressure, and financial coercion [socio-economic]; whereas in the East coercion is more socio-political.
But I was born to be free. Like all humans. Only, I knew, that unlike all humans I must somehow gain the courage, by God, to rise above the average, and fulfill my individual destiny, completely, and wholly. I pray each human can accomplish it, but bearing such a burden is not my responsibility. In fact that has precisely slowed me down. Because people know what I am capable of, and instead of allowing it to flourish completely, they wish to allow it only flourish subtly which I cannot afford because that is not my destiny. I know that. I have always believed it, but they have tried to convince me otherwise. The so-called “THEY” does it – as DJ Khaled calls it. I cannot flourish economically or artistically or morally if I am not to be myself fully and that person is not who my so-called partners but actual competitors do not understand. I do not care anymore. I must flourish. I understand that freedom also means people fail – but I believe in my destiny. It is true, that might either believe it blindly, not possess any talent and so forth – but in my case I don’t think this is so. That is my conviction. I do believe that existence and being is perfect and that destiny triumphs in the end. That being said, I must present particular products and sell them as they are intended, eternally.
That could not be done anywhere but in the freest of the all nations – America.
But even here, I have also encountered political distress, mainly because, after 9/11 the immigration process disenfranchised people like me living inside the US, and people outside. The truth is I am now realizing what it means to be an American citizen, while still being so distant from that reality.
It’s like a ship sailing away from the statue of liberty, but always remaining close enough so that the passengers onboard can still see it.
That is the metaphor of my position.
And even then, I have still striven. I have been persistent and ambitious. In the face of my social dilemmas, and competitors, who, through peer pressure, seek to stifle my growth and potential. I have striven in the face of inhumane institutionalized delays and political injustices. I am the child of immense political injustices [Armenian Genocide; Syrian Crisis], a history stained with much betrayal [Autocracy; Zare; Courage]. I was denied financial aid of all sorts, scholarships, grants, basic public aid – due to my immigrant status.
I thank God for all these feats despite the setbacks, as He makes it all possible. I currently create music as Danny K, my brand, despite many struggles against my competitors as well as with the industry itself. Furthermore, I am enrolled as an MA student at UCF – studying political science, which I hope to utilize in the future in diplomacy, research, writing and teaching.
But the story of my life is of two portions, past and future.
And the future is upon which legacies are made.
The legacy of mine and my family and our Creator shall triumph.
Though troubling, our past has led us to this fine point of no return.
It is time to uncover my personal legend fully. I have delayed it long enough, have I not? For my self and my family, I must do this. But most importantly, for God.
A historic rug tied to the Armenian genocide will go on display at the White House Visitor Center in November after several failed attempts to display the piece.
The Ghazir rug was created by orphans of the genocide and presented to President Calvin Coolidge in 1925. It will be featured alongside other artifacts in an exhibition highlighting gifts to the United States from groups that have benefited from American humanitarian aid.
“The rug … is a reminder of the close relationship between the people of Armenia and the United States,” National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said in a statement announcing the exhibition.
The tapestry, also called the Armenian Orphan Rug, has been in storage for decades with only limited public appearances. In 2013, the White House blocked a plan to display the rug at the Smithsonian Institution, saying the planned exhibition, which would have featured the release of a book about the piece, was a private event and thus “not viewed as commensurate with the rug’s historical significance.”
Armenian American leaders and several U.S. senators objected to the decision, saying the White House was bowing to political pressure from the Turkish government, which denies a genocide took place.
Historians estimate that 1.2 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks during the political upheaval surrounding World War I. The circumstances of the genocide remain contested by Turkey, which maintains that the Armenians died of disease, starvation and being caught in crossfire. The Ghazir rug was later created by orphans as a goodwill gesture toward the U.S.
Members of the Armenian American community praised the decision to display the rug.
“Turkey doesn’t want people to use the word ‘genocide,’ so the United States doesn’t use the word ‘genocide,’ ” said Aram Hamparian, executive director of the Armenian National Committee of America. “We hope that this is the symbol of the White House finally doing the right thing.”
The delay in exhibiting the rug stemmed from rules governing historic objects rather than political considerations, senior administration officials said.
For elected officials representing Armenian American communities, the decision is a welcome relief after years of negotiation.
“It’s a powerful symbol of American generosity to victims of the Armenian genocide,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D- Burbank) said. “I’m thrilled that it will soon be on display.”
Schiff said he would continue to push for official federal recognition of the genocide, especially in light of the event’s 100th anniversary in April.
For Hamparian, the exhibition will be a success if it represents a change in White House policy.
“The victory will be if this symbolizes progress by this White House to speak the truth about the Armenian genocide,” he said.
No system or philosophy or religion or concept is perfect but God. Not socialism, not democracy, not judaism, not christianity — GOD. Abrahamic Monotheism.
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,
Imagine living your whole life not knowing what you’re capable of.
It is sad what people are willing to put others through simply because they cannot let go of their pride. It is the source of all evil and human suffering in the world. God have mercy.