Dear Syrian Solidarity Network,
We would like to share with you that we are grateful to Mother Agnes-Mariam de la Croix, head of the Monastery of St. James the Mutilated in Syria, for leading an international peace delegation to Syria in May 2013, which included Irish Nobel Peace laureate Mairead Maguire and which petitioned the Assad regime for the release of over seventy nonviolent prisoners of conscience on a list (Previewthat we, the Syrian Nonviolence Movement, prepared and submitted to the delegation. Although Mother Agnes graciously led the delegation to meetings with members of the Syrian regime who made various promises about their potential release, most of these nonviolent prisoners of conscience still have not been released, including our colleague the nonviolence teacher Yahya Shurbaji, for example. Nonetheless, we appreciate that Mother Agnes chose to mobilize her cordial ties to the regime to attempt the release of wrongfully detained Syrians, and hope that she will continue to put her talents to work for reconciliation among all Syrians.
The Syrian Nonviolence Movement welcomes all Syrian voices and voices offering compassionate witness to the heartbreaking Syrian struggle. We encourage any organizations bringing as a speaker the Lebanese-born Mother Agnes-Mariam to be inclusive in their overall programming by inviting a representative of the Syrian Nonviolence Movement, or one of our partners, to provide commentary at or after the event, hoping both she and her sponsors will welcome a respectful free exchange of ideas with Syrians committed to democratic change in Syria through nonviolent means. We will be happy to provide a roster of alternative speakers from the Syrian Nonviolence Movement and our partners.
If an inclusive program is to be barred, we recommend a question be posed to Mother Agnes: would she welcome democratic change in Syria inclusive of the possibility of a democratic ouster of its current president, Bashar Assad through free and fair elections not subjected to the control of its outcome by Syria’s current regime security systems?
Dr Mohja Kahf, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature/ Department of English (tel. 479-575-4301)/ University of Arkansas - Fayetteville/ Member, Syrian Nonviolence Movement
Ibrahim al- Assil, SNVM president
Maria al-Abdeh, SNVM executive board officer
Mohamad al-Bardan, SNVM executive board officer
Syrian Nonviolence Movement English Facebook page:

Syrian Nonviolence Movement was established in April, 2011, by a group of Syrians who 
believe in nonviolent struggle and civil resistance as a principle and method in achieving social, cultural, and political change in Syrian society.