father daniel maes

Father Daniël Maes

Living in Syria in the sixth-century-old Mar Yakub monastery in the city of Qara, 90 kilometers north of the capital Damascus, Flemish Father Daniël Maes has been a witness to the invasion of western-backed terrorists since the very beginning. To this day, he and his friends continue to help the Syrian people by not only helping them directly, but also by spreading the truth about what is truly going on in the country.

Each week, a newsletter written by Father Daniël is published, in which he describes his experiences and thoughts on the situation in Syria. After the liberation of East Ghouta, with the help of much needed donations and NGOs such as Hand in Hand voor Syrië who have provided containers full of relief goods – Father Daniël and others have been lending a great helping hand to the people liberated from the area.

In his newsletter published on April 6th, he writes:

Regardless of everything, the Easter 2018 festivities were greatly celebrated. People dance and sing, because Eastern Ghouta has finally (almost completely) been liberated by the Syrian army and its allies. The true horror is now coming to the surface: Thousands of men had to dig tunnels of tens of kilometers long, like slaves, until they got tired, and then killed. See what the Syrian army has found: Prisons and torture rooms, great supplies of food and medical supplies belonging to the international humanitarian help, all kept by the terrorists, a fully equipped hospital, a significant amount of weapons, ammunition and even factories, also for chemical weapons, sophisticated communication…

The great news reporters of the ‘moderate rebels’ (the ‘White Helmets’ and the ‘Syrian Observatory for Human Rights’) ignore all of this, and thus the western media does too. In their blindness, they still believe that the ‘horrible Syrian dictator’ is the cause of all this misery and that he has to be stopped using military violence. They find it so bothersome that the Syrian army has put a stop to the ‘liberating work’ of these ‘moderate rebels’. And thus, our VRT [a Flemish broadcaster], like the others, continue to encourage a dirty war for seven years now, to make the suffering of the Syrian people even more intolerable.

That is sadly the truth. Mainstream media in Western countries have not published a word about the murderous actions of these so-called ‘moderate rebels’, or about how President Assad is loved – and not hated – by a great majority of the Syrian people, or about the actions of the Syrian army and allies that have saved so many lives. All we hear are hysterical accusations, with no evidence provided.

The sources used by the pusillanimous Western press are the ‘Syrian Observatory for Human Rights’ (SOHR), a shady UK-based ‘information office’ which has been spreading non-factual information about Syria, and the ‘White Helmets’; terrorists wearing white helmets pretending to save people, and who share pictures and videos on social media trying to show how helpful they are, and how evil the ‘Assad regime’ is. Their ‘evidence’ has been exposed as false numerous times. Yet, the ‘White Helmets’ continue to receive large amounts of cash. As of October 2016, this fake ‘humanitarian’ outfit has received $123 million, and an additional £32 million from the UK Foreign Office. It is depressing to realize that our tax money is being spent on supporting terrorists and on the deliberate spreading of disinformation.

Meanwhile, it is the Syrian people who are directly affected by both the financial and Western media support for terrorists in Syria. Father Daniël shared one particular sad story of a Christian family whose sons were kidnapped by terrorists. There is still no news of the fate of the eldest son, but sad news broke recently about the younger son. In his newsletter, Father Daniël writes:

“A Christian family, who are close with our community consists of three sons, two of whom are soldiers.The eldest was kidnapped as a soldier years ago, and there has been no news about him. The other soldier, Samer, was allowed to be off duty for Easter 2016. Together with his twin brother, he was responsible for the group of children, the altar servers, in the sacristy. After Easter, Samer returned to his unit in Aleppo and was also kidnapped by terrorists.

His parents are very brave and especially the mother continues to help with a smile on her face. Together with another Christian woman, she comes pretty much every day to our kitchen to help us, and she likes it when we enjoy their food.

On the second day of Easter, we heard from the colonel, who is responsible for this area, that this second brother, Samer, had been found dead in a pit. He was found on Friday evening, but they waited before breaking the news. Furthermore, the body was barely recognizable due to it being there for at least a year and a half. The colonel asked us if we could tell the parents.

Two years ago, on the second day of Easter, the parents received the news that Samer had been kidnapped. On the exact same day this year (March 29th), they received the news that he had been killed. In the morning we went with other community members to the parents, and we were welcomed by the mother, as always, with great joviality and happiness.

When the news about her son was told to her, she started crying. During the early afternoon, people came by and most of the women were crying loudly. Both parents come from a very large family, and brothers, sisters and cousins live nearby. They themselves live in a large house with a rectangular atrium covered by one great grape vine. Slowly the group became divided in two.

Inside, the women were sitting and prayed the Rosary, and outside were the men. That changed here and there when men came in to first give their condolences to the mother. Meanwhile, two hours have passed and the mother didn’t want anyone to leave without having eaten. There was indeed an afternoon meal that was prepared. When someone asked me if I didn’t want to rest, she called her son who brought me to the room where Samer’s bed still stands. On his bed, I rested a little. While feeling broken herself, the mother still worries about the well-being of others.

At five o’clock we all went to the formal service of the second day of Easter. During this service, a prayer was said especially for Samer. At the end of this Eucharist, as usual, the gospel of Jesus’ apparition was read in all kinds of languages … After that we walked back to the house of Samer’s parents to say goodbye.

The next day was a very interesting funeral service (no Eucharist). There were probably as many people outside the church, as inside: Many soldiers, many Muslims. The vicar-general together with the parish priest were leading the service. The Orthodox priest Paisios was also present. The coffin was covered with the Syrian flag. After the service, the coffin was carried by soldiers towards the cemetery and at each intersection, the coffin was held high and rotated several times. Only men went to the cemetery. There was a cross, the Syrian flag, and a beautiful large picture of Samer.

First he was hailed in a grand speech, where it was mentioned how he had served to liberate areas of the country. During the deafening applause that followed, you could feel the pain and the pride of a people for their martyrs, who gave their lives for their people. […]

Meanwhile, with the liberation of Eastern Ghouta, many civilians were in need of help, which Father Daniël and others have been providing. Their community is taking care of 25,000 people. He writes that they have three ambulances and two mobile hospitals, which are available 24/7 and where 7 doctors or specialists are working. There are rows of people standing in front of the ambulances, as many have wounds that need to be treated. Food is being given to about 10,000 people on a daily basis, and they hope to extend this to 25,000. In Northern Ghouta, six help centres have been established.

He adds that in the centre of Ghouta, there are still people being held hostage. “Mother Agnes and Zaki have been exploring the area. It’s an area where snipers are still killing people. Everyone is hoping for a complete liberation soon,” Father Daniël writes.

He continues in his letter with a mention of a mother and her daughter being brought to the shelter:

“On a Monday evening, a mother and her daughter were brought from Damascus to be taken care of. Both were very thin. The girl is seven years old, but so tiny that she looks younger. The children immediately took her under their wing. She’s never been to school. They were the only Christian family amidst Muslims, who have been terrorized for seven years by the West’s jihadis. This Christian family suffered the most.

Women and children are now liberated. The men will be checked, because there are many terrorists wishing to escape this way. The father is wounded due to terrorist bombings and will hopefully soon be free so that he can reunite with his family. The mother would like to baptize her child. When a Syrian sister asked the little girl whether or not she was afraid of those bombardments, the girl answered spontaneously: “God protects me.

These stories will never reach the Western media because they deliberately ignore them because they do not fit with the bogus narrative spread by Western governments about Syria. The mainstream media will only tell its readers about the suffering of the Syrian people when it suits their agenda – and when they do, they falsely put the blame on the ‘Assad regime’.

Thankfully, the Syrian Army and allies have managed to liberate Eastern Ghouta completely, and with the direct help of people on the ground, such as Father Daniël, hope continues to grow for the Syrian people.