Monday, 13 June 2011

Straight American Behind Syrian ''gay girl'' Blog

I have been wondering how many blogs are not real, since Tom MacMaster, a 40-year-old Edinburgh University masters student, admitted that he has been lying in a blog that he was a lesbian in Syria.

With this admission, it looks like many blogs may not be for real, especially of those claiming to write on fancy subjects like, Oval Office mole, ex-Mandela's girlfriend, diary of a devoted second wife of President Medvedev and all those self-confessed what have you.
I can't be fake myself, since I don’t claim to be anything other than myself, an ordinary blogger, journalist…

Lets go back to MacMaster. His blog, called
A Gay Girl in Damascus attracted millions of readers, especially from people disparate for news since Syria is closed for foreign media.

Since February this year, when the drama and violence started in Syria, MacMaster has been publishing in the blog as ''35-year-old feminist and lesbian called Amina Abdallah Araf al Omari''.  He said the blog was meant to explain "what it's like to be a lesbian here", supposedly in Syria!

And on Tuesday last week, someone claiming to be her cousin wrote on the blog that Amina had been kidnapped off the street by three armed men and bundled into a car bearing a pro-government window sticker. Supporters created a Facebook group called "Free Amina Abdallah", attracting nearly 15,000 followers.

And yesterday, MacMaster finally came out, apologizing for lying all these four months.

This is what he wrote:Apology to readers

I never expected this level of attention. While the narrative voıce may have been fictional, the facts on thıs blog are true and not mısleading as to the situation on the ground. I do not believe that I have harmed anyone -- I feel that I have created an important voice for issues that I feel strongly about.

I only hope that people pay as much attention to the people of the Middle East and their struggles in thıs year of revolutions. The events there are beıng shaped by the people living them on a daily basis. I have only tried to illuminate them for a western audience.

This experience has sadly only confirmed my feelings regarding the often superficial coverage of the Middle East and the pervasiveness of new forms of liberal Orientalism.

However, I have been deeply touched by the reactions of readers.

Tom MacMaster,
Istanbul, Turkey
July 12, 2011

The sole author of all posts on this blog

For me, I believe there are bloggers, in Syria and elsewhere, who are trying as hard to report news and opinions that may not be available in the main media. 
The link to the blog is:

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