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Clinton Teenager Uses Music to Address the Crisis in Syria

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Danny Khalifa, a teenager from Clinton, is using music to address the crisis in Syria. (Published Thursday, Sep 12, 2013)

    A teenager from Clinton, Conn., is doing what he does best and using music to address the mounting tensions in Syria.

    Danny Khalifa is a freshman at Morgan High School in Clinton, a long way from Damascus, where he was living just a year and half ago.

    He lived in Syria for nearly seven years before moving to Connecticut and said he's praying for the country through song.

    “Everyone back in Syria now doesn't have what they used to,” Khalifa said. “Back in my time, I thought it was a ghost town when I was there a year and a half ago, and now it's really a ghost town."

    His rap song starts out, “I left the country that literally six years raised me even though I was born in the states but living in Syria changed me to a better man, a wiser guy grown enough to handle my life.”

    He moved from Brooklyn, New York, to Damascus after his mother died in 2005.

    “What I've witnessed, like right at the moment, and I lived it; it was horrible,” Khalifa said.

    It was so horrible that in 2012, he left for Clinton.

    The rest of his family, including his father and little sister, came from Syria to Connecticut three months ago and are out of harm's way.

    Khalifa stocks shelves at a gas station and goes to school.

    He’s trying to make sense of his emotions by channeling them into rap music.

    “I want to send out a message to everyone to stop what they're doing because we're not going anywhere in this way,” Khalifa said while putting together a video on Guilford's town green.

    It's part of Up 2 Something, a local nonprofit that gives youths a venue to showcase their skills.

    Some more lyrics go like this: “Wake up on your own, go to work and straight back home. Live on your own, study by yourself, spend your day on stocking shelves.”

    Khalifa said the crisis in Syria is an emotional topic for him.

    “I have a lot of friends that are with, a lot of friends that are against. I'm not with either of them. Because if I'm on either side, I'm asking for blood,” he said.