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Syrian musician in Atlanta plays for peace | News

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Syrian musician in Atlanta plays for peace

ATLANTA -- Among those impacted by the revolution in Syria and the mass exodus of refugees is a classical composer and pianist who lives in Atlanta with his parents.

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Malek Jandali has performed everywhere in the world, from the Kennedy Center to London, Paris, and Cairo.

Jeff Hullinger spoke with this musical artist who is horrified by the gassing of children in Damascus.


Jandali's mother and father were roughed up after an American performance where he played his piano for peace.

"They handcuffed my dad and they beat my mom brutally. It involved the US Ambassador at the time and the State Department to bring my parents to safety and America," Jandali said.

All of this began with the revolution, the so-called Arab Spring. But for Syrians there was been no spring -- just a very long winter.

"What are the demands of Syrian revolution?" Jandali said. "Freedom and get rid of dictatorship so we can have free elections.

Jandali's work is a celebration of Arabic culture and European and Russian composers.

Now his focus is the children of Syria. Scores of children have been brutalized, maimed and now gassed to death -- caught in the cross-hairs of violence without end.

"To me it is a moral obligation," Jandali said. "America is a beacon of freedom and democracy, and who would agree on murdering children? Anytime, anywhere, gassing children using illegal chemical weapons."

And it is his point that of the 2 million Syrian refugees, the vast majority are children targeted by a regime willing to commit genocide in the name of power.

"Enough is enough," Jandali said. "We need to stand by our moral obligation as Americans, as artists, as human beings to help those children."