Our meeting with Mother Agnes was scheduled for 11.30 am. We had the usual palaver with the Lebanese cab driver – always asking for 50% more when you finally reached your destination – no matter if they find it right away or if they are almost lost and need an extra 20 minutes. After a few laps of honour he made it and dropped us off. 30 minutes late.
Mother Agnes Mary of the Cross, also known as Al Oum Agnès Mariam el Salib, or Mère Agnès Marie de la croix, is the mother superior of the monastery of James the Mutilated in Qara (Syria). Although she is Lebanese from Palestinian descent (from her father), she has served in Syria for more than 18 years. She is holding a French passport – so it’s easy for her to travel. And – as she told us – she was a hippie in her “early” years 😉
I knew her beforehand from various interviews (e.g. this one with an Irish TV station) speaking about the Syrian conflict. She is controversial – some people call her the voice of the regime since she is backing the Syrian government by saying that Syrian civil war is much worse than Assad’s regime ever was. Others say she is absolutely right in accusing the mainstream media to promote the Syrian uprising with lies.
Here you find various interviews and writings.
In our conversation and later in our interview we covered the following issues:
- the role of Western media in the Syrian conflict and its manipulating and destructive power
- the barbarism, perversity and cruelties of war, especially on the side of the insurgents
- she showed us pictures and videos from people cut into pieces, beheaded people, insurgents eating innards of people who have just been killed.
- the infiltration of jihadists from Afghanistan or Chechnia or Saudi Arabia
- the ethnic cleaning which is going on
- the complete destruction of public and social life in Syria, the destruction of its culture, of agriculture, of infrastructure (streets, schools and primary health care)
- the shift in plans from formerly protesting against the Assad regime into establishing an Islamic state under Sharia law
- how money and weapons are brought into Syria with the help of Europe, the US, Saudia Arabia and Qatar
- she showed us long lists of names of people who have been killed, who are missed or kidnapped – lists which she passed on to Carla del Ponte, the UN High Commisioner
- her intermediation between the insurgents, the Syrian government and all others being involved
- and last but not least her work on the grassroot level