Mother Agnes-Mariam de la Croix, affectionately known simply as Mam, is a Carmelite nun who is a central figure in Mussalaha, a grass roots movement for reconciliation between all communities in Syria and has a deeply open multi faith perspective. She was forced to flee her 6th century monastery in Homs because of specific threats from the mostly foreign heavily armed Islamist extremist militias. Since then she has toured many countries with her very close friend and companion Sister Carmel, speaking in village halls, on TV and radio shows, to share her knowledge and experience.
A key part of her message on the conflict is that Syrians want and are very capable of achieving reconciliation, but that what started as a pro-democratic peaceful movement against an outdated authoritarian system, which she herself supports, has been railroaded by violent foreign-led Jihadi extremists who don’t have the support of the people. The mainstream media, she insists, is failing completely to deliver an accurate picture.
Enjoy this informed, active, wise and hugely passionate advocate for peace.
On Reform and Real Revolution, not a foreign extremist led sectarian ‘revolution’
In Syria the silent majority wants reform, wants real revolution not a sectarian revolution or so-called revolution. By doing this confusion and chaos those people are hijacking the real Syrian revolution. We ask with the opposition inside Syria that the foreign intervention in Syria may be stopped. Syrian people have the right to auto-determination and they should be able to choose what they want.
To be able to choose what they want they have to dialogue one with another. And they have to enter into a process of what we call in Arabic Mussalaha. Mussalaha is the process, is the dynamic, of Reconciliation.
They have to be reconciled with, or against, all the heinous principles that have been instigated by Salafist and fundamentalist media that are every day teaching people to hate each other. You don’t understand Arabic but it should be a good task to make translation of what is said on a daily basis in some satellite tv that are funded by Gulf monarchies. It is a real scandal.
Syrian people – I am talking about Syrian people of all denominations: Muslims, Christians, Alouwites, Druzes, Kurds, everybody – they are meeting in the streets, in their regions, in their cities, and they are making possible negotiations and dialogue to resolve many problems, because we have more than 100,000 armed people coming from everywhere. They come from Arabic countries, they come from Pakistan, from Chechnya, they come even as I’ve told you from Britain, from Ireland, from France, from all the countries. They come to implement destruction, chaos and perpetrate a lot of things.
If you and us and others of good will, if we are sure and convinced that this is the real story and this is the reality of what is happening in Syria we can have the possibility to raise our voice so that our governments will hear. Slowly by slowly they will hear because we are before an impasse, and as Alan Lonergan has said even after 29 years Northern Ireland they sit around a table and they make a negotiation; after 15/50 years of civil war in Lebanon they sit at a table and make negotiations; even Israelis and Palestinians after 60 years they make negotiations and they are still making negotiations.
Our fate is to negotiate, our fate is to put ourselves in a dialogue-like meeting, with mediators. So that is why we are doing it everywhere to catch the attention of public opinion to learn more about Syria and to reassure everybody you can have a clear voice to be heard that those things must stop and a peaceful process that will respect the will of the Syrian people for auto-determination and for real rights, civilian rights, tranquillity stability and the future they deserve.
On Syrian Rejection of The ‘Rebels’
On the Information War in Syria
On the Role of Mussalaha – Reconciliation