Syria: Interview with the Nun Hatune Dogan about the situation


The Nun Hatune Dogan, who is the founder of the Sister-Hatune Foundation, spoke in an interview about the situation in Syria after she came back from a journey through this country. The sister-Hatune Foundation is committed to poor people in India and also to the Christians in the Middle East.

The Nun Hatune Dogan has spoken with a lot of civilians about their beliefs and experiences and many of the details are mentioned in the interview, which is sadly just in German. The Nun Hatune Dogan spoke with the Syrians after the 25th May 2012, what has become a sad date now, which the most Syrian people will remember.

In this interview about her experiences and impressions from the journey to Syria, the Nun Hatune Dogan reports detailed about all situations. Although some parts of the Interview could have more details, it is sure to honor that the Nun Hatune Dogan was ready for this interview, just shortly after she came home from Syria. Thus, some details, in parts, are missing, of course.

But it is an interview about her experiences in Syria and about the statements of many Syrians, which she has met while traveling through the country, which nobody should miss to read. The original Interview was in German language, but after we published the main statements, we decided that it is better to try to publish the fully transcription, translated in English.

We learn a lot about the great crime which is happening with Syria and straight. As a Christian the Nun Hatune Dogan is naturally concerned about the Christians in Syria, but her concern is to all people in Syria and also about the country. Not to mention that it is clear that Nun Hatune Dogan is also concerned about what is currently being fabricated with Syria.

The Nun Dogan Hatune was traveling through Syria together with two other people and has received many statements of civilians and also statements of a Syrian soldier, which she knows very well. Many details about her experiences in Syria are not only interesting, but also more important than some might think.

In addition, Nun Hatune Dogan could see themselves as armed gangs live near the border and are responsible for concern in the population.

Here is the interview with Nun Hatune Dogan about her experiences in Syria. The original interview was carried out by “Unser Politikblog“. The Transcription starts at the first response from Nun Hatune Dogan. The transcription of this interview is sure not perfect, but it was the best what we were able to publish. It was not so easy, we are sorry.

Situation in Syria – Interview with Nun Hatune Dogan

I was in April in Syria, together with two other people, that is, our Foundation Director Bernd Willke, who has for many years served as a Red Cross director here locally, and also with Gerd Zimmermann, a member of the Foundation.

We were there. We drove from south to north, from west to east. We used cars and busses, were everywhere, except the area around the Syrian city of Homs. We have seen nothing, we have experienced nothing, In two places, there were ordinary demonstrations and no one was allowed to take photos or something, especially taking videos, this was strictly forbidden.

We have tried to hear the details about the situation by the Christian organization in confidence. So we were told that they ask America, Europe, that their government remains alive, that it will not be changed. It was actually very peaceful, normal life.

They have also described us, that there is much crap built up by the media (in the West), that much is a lie and that many cases have happened in other countries. For example, they told us about 14 cases, which actually happened in Iraq or elsewhere, were sold as cases in Syria (by Western media).

The Christians themselves, do not feel well, they feel betrayed by America and the Western world. They say there is no Arab Spring, people can forget this, and there is no such thing. They see what is happening in Egypt, they see what happens after Gaddafi (Libya), they see that the fanatics come to power after (..) just have a look, what happens there with Christians and other minorities.

And now Syria is the only country where Christians are granted freedom, but unfortunately this has now become even more difficult, and that should not be so. All Christians have said, the Alawites (and others), they do not want to be murdered. Europe, America, no matter who is behind the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad, it will be the biggest genocide in the world, whether they like it or not. Once these fanatics have taken over the power, the Christens are the first victim.

Even now, in Homs (al-Houla) yesterday, for example, on the case where it happened, that women and children were killed. For God’s sake, it was said that the government has done this, but for God’s sake, not the government, I have spoken with the people. It definitely was not the government, but the fanatics who are against the president, and not his people.

For example, in April, I spoke with a soldier, with whom I am related to about several corners, and said to him, please tell me the truth, as a confidant, what happened here. It’s bad when soldiers kill people.

He said, Sister (Nun), do you know, I have personally experienced an incident. And he trembled and was still in shock as he told it. We were six people in an army jeep as the Salafists, the fanatics, came near to us. Even their weapons were better than ours.

They have overwhelmed us. Before they arrived, I jumped from the jeep, and I hid under the jeep. I watched out of sheer fear, as my colleagues were killed. I was lucky. They killed my colleagues and then they started to put on their clothes. Then they drove away and I lay down on the ground as if I were one of the dead.

They drove away and I did not dare to stand up, they even simply kill civilians. They filmed everything and that is then shown as a soldier had killed civilians. But these were not soldiers. The fanatics killed the soldiers, put on their clothes, jeans, and took the car and then they have filmed all this.

In any case, a soldier, a relative of mine, in Syria, has told me this story, and he was still in shock, shaking and crying on, alas. I tried for therapeutic reasons to support him, but in a conversation about what he has experienced, it was too much for him.

For God’s sake, from a Christian point of view, Bashar al-Assad shall remain at his post. I am not a friend of a regime, I dislike any regime, but the Syrian president is ready. I’ve heard that he has met all requirements, but still they cannot leave him alone. Should they just implement sanctions that he has to change his policy, but please do not want to rush him. There it begins; it is again the Christians, who are kidnapped, killed in the first place. That cannot go on like this!

Question: Are there only the rebels, who carry out these attacks on Christians?

What? Only the Rebels! It is, for example. More than 6,000 families and Christians of all denominations are gone out of Homs. The rebels are in churches, Christian homes (and mosques), and besiege them, of course, the Christians are running away, you want / do not want to fight. This also means that these families became homeless, of course. But they begin slowly to come back.

For example, rebels do hide them in a church (or mosque) and fight against the Government, and then the Government will respond naturally. The church is destroyed.

Then they (the rebels) say to the West, have a look, the Government even has attacked a church (or mosque), but this is just only because the rebels were in the church, not because it is what the Government really wanted to do.

In any case not; the Syrian government is not against Christians, and they would not lift a finger to harm them.

Question: There are other voices, for example, which say, that at least a part of the alleged attacks on civilians by the government had been faked.

For example, a Communist station KITV reported or discovered that an alleged video of a Syrian torture prison actually comes from Iraq and al-Arabiya has aired it years ago – in 2007. And a photo recently, from al-Houla (Hula / Syria) about the massacre, as Russia Today has reported it, a journalist called and said he himself had taken this photo in Iraq in 2003.

Yes, I said, in Syria, I’ve heard of 14 cases, there were struggles in other countries, were bombs, and this has been shown (in the Western media), as these have been taken place in Syria. In 14 cases, that’s a fact, they (the people in Syria) said this. And the whole media, the Western media, cannot publish this just without knowing exactly where the roots are! (But they did)

That may not be true! Or the whole world has united against this man or this united government, because they keep to the Christians.

Question: I rather suspect that the issue is that some people want a war of aggression against Iran. In February 2012, the militaristic think-tank Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) from the USA has published an article by Matthew Kroenig, “Time to attack Iran”, under the pretext over its nuclear program. And a historian, Neil Ferguson, who is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), said in the German newspaper “Die Welt”, that “an attack against Iran is the lesser evil”.

Everything in February of this year. And I guess is, that they try to heat up the conflict to Syria in order to provoke Iran, if Iran cannot be provoked different. This allows to sell the image that Iran is guilty.

But they cannot put a country on fire because of another country! That will not do! That are separate countries, only the second time, I think there’s many other causes play a role. Iran is certainly one of the causes. But there are also oil (..) at the Turkish border.

Enough oil wells near (The Nun said in but she has meant a special area) Syria and that is one reason. The Americans.. before, there was one oil pump, from Syria, now there are five oil pumps there. I asked the people, they said, all are Americans. In other words, the oil plays a role, even in Syria, there is still enough oil.

Second, I think to myself, that it is, as you said, perhaps the Iran is also a reason. Third, Qatar, which probably intended to open up their gas pipelines and Syria is in the way. So since there are so many economic factors. I do not think that the Americans and the Europeans, who are against Bashar al-Assad, are doing this just because of human rights.

That is again just politics and economics. And I think, I have a request, an appeal to the whole world, that they also preserve the rights of minorities, and not because of economic interests like in Iraq and Egypt now, which they destroy under their feet.

And to destroy the root of Christianity, the Christian world. Syria is one, and Egypt is there, too. Iraq is almost empty, unfortunately. You cut yourself from your roots, because of the economy, because of money.

That may not be true. But why all the Arab countries? The fanatics are now supported by the West. That may not be true that Saudi Arabia is supported by Americans and Europeans. When this is not economy..

Question: The German newspaper “TAZ” has also written that even al-Qaeda is now fighting on the side of the rebels in Syria. What the “TAZ” has not written is, what al-Qaeda is, at all. And allied with al-Qaeda Islamists have also helped Gaddafi (Libya) to fall, but at the 11th September, it was said to be al-Qaeda …… there are so many contradictions …

Alas, it is always the case when they (Western media), as I said, speak about the “Arab Spring”. In an Arab (Muslim) country, it is not so difficult to overthrow a regime or a dictator, whatever you call it, too, and worse still a triple to put in its place. For the region, it is the custom, and given (..) it is normal to overthrow a sultan and to put an even worse in this place.

And Bashar al-Assad is not like this. It would be a shame. I said, I am no friend of the regime. I am a friend of freedom, democracy and peace. But for us Christians in Syria, Bashar al-Assad and his family have been good, the government in general.

For us Christians in general and that has my support. He should only change his politics a bit, since there are these demonstrations against him, or since there are these harsh sanctions (by the West).

Question: How many Christians actually live, long established in Syria and how many Christians live from Iraq in Syria?

There are still about, Christian families, over 15,000 total in Syria. In total there are 10 million Christians of all sects and denominations.

Question: 10 million Christians who live in Syria?

Altogether, yes.

Question: I’ve heard that there should take place a referendum about a new, democratic constitution in Syria. Did something change at this?

Because I do not know much about this, I cannot answer.

Question: At the very least, Bashar al-Assad had promised and many have expressed the view that one should let it rest in the regime, whether it meets these requirements then.

I know from people, that Bashar al-Assad was willing to implement all requirements, which came from the outside, and he was also ready to perform it. However, I did not ask exactly which claims came to him that I know myself, I must not say.

Question: Are there also economic sanctions under a pretext of its nuclear program, as like against Iran?

Well, yes, they wanted to have that. For examples, that there are no flights anymore. For example from Turkey. From Turkey it is obviously very bad. No more contacts are created. That should then give tough sanctions. But the Turks lie so much.

They say there are millions of refugees in Turkey. We ourselves were there in a refugee camp. We were at the greatest. Overall, there were 6,000 refugees and not more or less. It is spoken by hundreds of millions, for example, because there are so many lies in this story, I do not know why it is still accepted by the Media. I do not know it, because I’m speechless because of this.

Question: Are there positive examples in the Western mass media which report differentiated about Syria?

Less. Less. There are .. The truth comes not out, what I’ve noticed.

Question: I have heard some critical voices, for example, “Alles Schall und Rauch”, or Jürgen Todenhöfer, which earlier has worked in the Burda publishing house, I think, he also was editor in chief, you know..

I speak now of the general media, and have just come back from the Middle East. I know little about what is up here (in the West), but generally in official media, it is negative for Syria.

Question: How do the churches react here in Germany?

The churches are intimidated, because like I said, is the only country with full rights for Christians Syria. Even now I think that was planned.. It is divided. There are few people who are politically led, who say that Bashar al-Assad has to change.

But the others, the majority are afraid that the church goes down and if it goes down in Syria.. Then the root of Christianity is really amputated. They have fears.

Question: How can we ease the situation? What steps are needed to relax the situation?

The steps are.. If Bashar al-Assad will be left in peace. He should change his policy, but he will remain as a ruler, then the people calm down.

Question: That means that there should be peaceful pressure to democratize the country itself? All the “Violence” has to stop?

For example, that would be nice. He should change his policy, not a problem. They are all sure that there is no regime, but a democracy and all that. When Bashar al-Assad goes down, it is the end for us. I can guarantee you that. To 100 percent, to 1000 percent. First, the Christians, then the Alawites.

Question: Who should stop the rebels? How can this happen peacefully?

If the West helps them… instead of stopping it, it’s no wonder. No one can stop them, only the West. America can stop them. America and Europe.

They are paid. I’ve seen it. There are people (..) that carry arms on the borders, so that no one will notice the truth behind the border, that nothing is really happening. No fighting, a normal peaceful life.

Not that what is propagated in the West, that there are battles every day in Syria, that`s not true at all. They only do not allow everyone to enter. Tourists do not get visas, embassies in many countries are closed – and then, Western media says, there is only murder and manslaughter.

And that’s not true at all. Only 5 percent is true of what is shown. 95 percent were lies.

Question: In other words, the number of victims is too high and the rebels are at least partly fitted by the West?

The casualty figures are too high. The rebels are paid by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and by the West, even get equipped by them. Those are poor people in the mountains. They gave them weapons and tell them how they should handle these weapons. Because they should fight.

I’ve met women who have borne arms like .. not know what .. behind the mountains behind the border.

They have also asked us, how we have gone beyond the borders. It was not easy. We were driving through the rebel regions, and that was not without risk. But the taxi driver who knew the area, which was from the area, and has all the greetings, but we have not dared to take pictures. The taxi driver said, they will shoot us if we take pictures.

Question: In the West, I have read of an action for solidarity with the peaceful protest, with the peaceful opposition, which demands democracy on the streets. This sounded as if rebels would protect the peaceful protesters from attacks by the Government. Is it so that the rebels protect the peaceful demonstrators? Is it happening?

That is propaganda. So if someone demonstrated peacefully, no one is attacked. It’s just that some charlatans get between them and shoot, and then off you go. Of course the government will intervene then, but afterwards the government is accused. The government would not shoot first. And if they are attacked, they defend themselves, of course.

Question: That the situation at least in the capital city (Damascus) is quiet, that was also reported by Christoph Hörstel.

So we were in Halab (Aleppo), there it was quiet. We were in Qamishli (Kamishli) there it was quiet.(..) We were in Hasakah, there it was quiet. We were in Damascus, there it was quiet. Only we could not go Homs, there were the fights.

Question: The rebels do not seem to have considerable support among the population, when they are equipped by abroad, but only occupy small areas?

They entrenched themselves behind the borders, so to speak, and when we were at the border, near Antakya; I was told by a policeman, “Sister, you can come into the country. You are welcomed in our country, you have a visa. But I cannot guarantee anything. Beyond the boundaries, there are gangs who have weapons. If something happens to you, they will say it was the government. It would be better if you would take the airline and the airport is safe ..

In any case, the people, the government, are well aware that these gangs do something and then say it was the government. That they know well. They have warned us against. Therefore, they have not let us in at the first border. They said, that here, beyond the border, something could happen to us, but then no more, just across the border. On the way out, we have these fighters, rebels, seen how they have behaved..

Question: How is it the supply situation in Syria?

That’s not so good. People are suffering. Prices are rising slowly. And, even Syria is one of the cheapest countries (..) but anyway, for local people, it’s not so good.

Question: Do people worry that it might be like in Iraq?

If the regime, when Bashar al-Assad is gone, people are afraid that it is a thousand times worse than in Iraq. Because the majority of the people are then opponents of the population, as a group. If the regime, when Bashar al-Assad is gone, then they are afraid that there will be the greatest genocide in the world.

Question: Here in the West we often hear that some of the rebels are grouped in the “Free Syrian army” (FSA) .. There is also a “Syrian National Council” .. that are opposition people in exile, which have distanced themselves from the armed rebels?

That is totally wrong. There are these two parties, but the understanding is wrong.

Question: What do the people in Syria think about this “Syrian National Council” (SNC)?

From the outside?

Question: The “Syrian National Council” (SNC) is often regarded as a representation of the peaceful opposition in the West.

So if it is peaceful.. the local people know little about it. To speak out from the West… and to not be on site .. anyway, that does not help them (us). Local people say it does not help them.

Question: Does this mean that getting with no idea who speaks in their name / talking to them?


Question: Who should get the information of this interview, so that the media coverage will become balanced?

I would say, to all the media, they have done mistakes so far. What came out until now, are really mistakes. I’m not saying that there are no fights, but 95 percent what was shown by the media so far, were lies. So many news have spread and were disseminated, as I said..

False offenders, wrong names, wrong groups.. ..were then published as the truth.

Secondly, that the West, America, changes the structures of them in their plan to change Syria, and also stops the way, how they are doing it currently. That should go to politicians and the media.

Question: Thank you!

Don’t mention it. I wish you much success. God’s blessings and peace on ..

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