Activist Nun to Discuss Plight of Syrian Refugees

Mother Agnes Mariam of the Cross

LOS ANGELES—The Armenian community of Southern California is inviting the Los Angeles community to two days of speeches by Syria’s Mother Agnes Mariam of the Cross, Mother Superior at the Monastery and Convent of St. James the Mutilated in Qara, Syria.

Mother Agnes will speak about the current crisis in Syria, giving accounts of the war that are very different from those reported by the media.

The towns and villages around Mother Agnes’ monastery have been largely abandoned as people have fled and been made refugees. In May of 2013, Mother Agnes herself was assailed by gunmen. That spring, she organized an international delegation led by Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire, which visited Lebanon and Syria. The delegation observed conditions and talked with refugees and opposition and government representatives. Mother Agnes is one of the main organizers of Mussalaha (Reconciliation), a popular movement in Syria that mediates disputes and organizes ceasefires between opposing forces.

Mother Agnes will be touring the U.S. and Canada under the auspices of the Syrian Solidarity Movement, a U.S. tax-exempt nonprofit project. Armenian communities in Southern California will be hosting Mother Agnes to speak on Saturday Nov. 9, 2013, at Jesus Sacred Heart Church in North Hollywood at 7 p.m.; and on Sunday Nov. 10, 2013, at Saint Gregory Armenian Church in Glendale, Calif. at 2 p.m.

Mother Agnes will be speaking about the conditions of all people and faiths and will provide her insights and observations on “What is Really Happening in Syria Today,” as her speech is titled.

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