Peace as a solution in Syria from Yusur’s World: A better world is possible
In this New Year, I want to tell you about my person of the year: Mother Agnes-Mariam of the Cross is Mother Superior at the Monastery and Convent of St. James the Mutilated in Qara, Syria. She came from Syria in a speaking tour to share her eyewitness experience and to urge people from around the world to take action to help Syrians. It was during that time when I met her.
It was my first meeting with Mother-Agnes. I approached her, shook her hand and smiled. Unintentionally, without controlling any of my actions, I found myself hugging Mother-Agnes and could not leave her. She held my hands and her tearful eyes revealed a lot about what’s happening in Syria. Her peaceful energy reached my heart and soul.
Mother-Agnes is a very unique personality who continues to believe in peace and forgiveness as solutions to our problems in this world, and as solutions to the Syrian crisis. Solidarity with people in Syria is not by arming or supporting any side of the conflict, but by helping the children in Syria and providing them with food and necessary medical care. That’s the mission of Mother-Agnes.
Mother Agnes had a great role in helping to evacuate Moadhamiya town near Damascus after courageously mediating between fighters and the Syrian government. She helped to evacuate around 700 women and children and 650 men in October 2013. While she was working for peace since long time, her significant role in Moadhamiya made her a famous figure for those who seek peace in Syria.
Forgiveness might not be a solution sought by many involved in the Syrian issue from all sides of the conflict. A question that might be directed towards people who believe in arming sides of conflict— what would hatred, avenge and violence bring, but more violations and ongoing bloodbath that would never end?
While leaders of the international community and activists around the world are trying to find a solution to the current situation in Syria, arming any group will only lead to escalating violence that will make the crisis worse. In this situation, the world has experienced what patriarchy and the current system’s position is— backing a military solution, whether by supporting the government’s forces or the militant rebels. Significant human rights reports documented war crimes committed by both sides of the conflict.
However, there is always hope and just like what we always tell ourselves when being in trouble- “there is light at the end of the tunnel.” The tunnel is dark for innocent Syrian civilians who are either trapped in the midst of conflicts, or suffering from the deteriorating conditions at refugee camps. Despite all of that, the solution is very clear. The only solution is peace and reconciliation.
Since more than three years, the world has witnessed the patriarchal ways to end the Syrian crisis. It is time for feminism and matriarchy to lead the way out of the dark tunnel; it is time to give peace a chance.
Reconciliation is a way to end the current crisis; which is a route that Mother Agnes decided to take and will continue to preach ways on how to maintain the reconciliation approach despite all of the horrific violations happening in Syria.
“The best we can do when someone is suffering is to keep silent and try to comfort this person,” said Mother Agnes. Helping other humans is a basic moral value that no one can disagree with— despite any political affiliations. Although this might seem a simple task, it is an overwhelming job that’s being politicized by sides of the conflict. “Any explanation will not cover the human crisis in Syria.”
While Mother-Agnes and many other brave women and men are doing courageous work in Syria, solidarity is needed and required. If being in solidarity with people in Syria was not your New Year resolution, then make it now!
“Syrian people are facing international community of hypocrisy,” Mother-Agnes said. Deep inside me I was asking myself: do I want to be part of the hypocrisy? If not, then propagating peace and forgiveness regarding the situation in Syria is my New Year resolution, which I urge you all to hold me accountable to.
While I want to end my post, I feel urged to remind everyone who is reading about the courageous women who are being held hostages by militant rebels in Syria— the nuns of Maaloula and the 115 Alawite women with their children. It is painful to start the New Year, while knowing that there are other innocent people suffering and the world is silent about them. May peace be with those women, and may 2014 bring comfort to the people in Syria.