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Video: The dignity and strength of Syrian women; dealing with death and terror; voices for war - the UN and Al-Jazeera

People are becoming more aware of the contradictions in the dominant (official) rhetoric about Syria and foreign intervention on behalf of the rebels. People hope to find out the truth from women and ordinary people, because they know they cannot really trust the mainstream media or, unfortunately, various NGOs and political organisations. Inside, find a link to an interview with Agnes Mariam about about how Syrian women feel about Islamic fundamentalism, and about the very doubtful role of the UN, NGOs and Al Jazeera in this expanding conflict.

Mother Agnes Mariam in Oct 2012

I would also like to draw your attention again to the Skype interview recorded with Mother Agnes in early January 2014. The link is to a page which contains other videos on the same subject.

We should aim to be pro-peace, pro- the interests of the people of Syria as a whole, pro- the survival of secular Syria and at the same time scrupulous in our chase for the truth, but not a slanted 'truth' which inevitably would lead to ongoing war and the ultimate destruction of the Syrian army and secular society.

In regards to being pro-regime or pro-Assad, they are accusations used to intimidate and stifle dissenting voices. The current government of Syria and its current president are not Syria and not the people, though they represent them in a political capacity at this time.

If their staying in power for some time aids the general public and the society as a whole, then may they stay in power.

It is the future of the Syrian state and the 23 million Syrians that we must be concerned about, the future of generations.

Unfortunately, with the stigmatising of the Syrian government and president all positive efforts made on their part to support the people and society are ignored outside Syria.

Apparently the government has recently introduced laws which will give more opportunity for people who work on the land to have a fairer stake in that land, so the rich absentee land owners will have to give a significant percentage of their land to poorer, working families. Regrettably, the media in Gulf states or western countries won't bother to report on such laws, both because they represent Bashar al-Assad in a positive light and because the democratic local repartition of land runs counter to their globalism values, which are for power and assets in a few international corporate and dynastic hands.

However, in regards to peace activism, it is still amazing how much good work the 'ordinary person' - people like you and me - is able to achieve. I'm referring to people with no other agenda except a search for the truth and a fervent desire for peace and harmony, so children in Palestine, Syria and the region can be sent off to school with joy and dreams in their hearts, rather than grief and fear.

In May 2013, an international peace delegation visited a camp in Lebanon with refugees from Yarmouk, one lady very discreetly told Marinella and me to work hard to get the truth because it was the truth that could save them.
This is an oft-heard remark but it is a powerful one when the continued prosecution of a war is dependent on dissembling and fabrications.

Women will persistently seek the truth in these times perhaps more often than men, given the chance. Unfortunately women's voices are less sought than men's, so the pro-war message gets magnified. Mother Agnes Mariam is a leader among women and her persistence and her bravery in speaking out against war and terror have given her an audience. May we be open to her message and not discredit it because of ignorance and because of a reliance on less informed, but familiar, faces.

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