Mother Agnes-Mariam of the Cross. a Palestinian carmelite nun, is Mother Superior at the Monastery and Convent of St. James the Mutilated in Qara, Homs, Syria. Gunmen attacked her vehicle in May, 2013.
She’s part of the Mussalaha (Reconciliation) Initiative which is against the use of violence and believes in reconciliation among the Syrian people without outside interference.
The story that Mother Agnes tells is very different from what we hear and read in the North American and British press. She has spoken in Ireland and Australia, and she organized an international delegation led by Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire to go to Syria to see for themselves. She is is one of the main organisers of Mussalaha that mediates disputes and organizes ceasefires between opposing forces.
The most recent project undertaken by Mussalaha is to produce a report about the chemical attack on East Ghouta, Damascus. This report raises some serious questions that have not been asked before. It seems to have been sparked by the fact that Mother Agnes has been approached by several parents from areas of Syria outside Damascus whose children had been missing or abducted who had recognised those children from the video footage of the chemical attack uploaded on youtube.
The report is an analysis of the video footage in which she points out some interesting anomalies. For instance, she provides some evidence of the fact that due to intense prior bombardment of the areas of East Ghouta affected by the chemical attack these areas were not densely populated with ordinary civilians, the vast majority having fled. The following video clip of the Irbin district of East Ghouda taken on the 12th August gives us an idea of the state of the buildings there which are clearly unfit for every day habitation,
This clip from Kafarbatna, also taken before 21st August attack is similar.
There is also a strong suggestion in the report that video footage selected as evidence by the US intelligence as proof of a chemical attack by Assad has been doctored.
The report, which is described as ‘preliminary’ is in pdf form and can be read here.