Tag Archives: Gay Girl from… ummm…

The Empire strikes back III

14 Jun

So, yes, you’ve heard: The MIA Gay Girl from Damascus is actually a Straight Guy from Virginia. The story’s was over the news yesterday, on German outlets as well as American. Western and Arab outlets mainly seem to focus on the internet-inherent problem of constructed realities and reliability of information. Media over here apparently loved the idea of gay activism in a Muslim country so much that they forgot to double-check their facts. What we got instead was trigger-happy  journalism.

I am now wondering how Bashar al-Assad’s regime and its supporters will use this incident to denounce political activism and the internet community. I could imagine that Syrian political activists aren’t all too happy about a fictional character stabbing their non-fictional cause in the back.

Will keep you posted about articles discussing this issue.


The Empire strikes back II

8 Jun

… And today the blogoshphere is abuzz with the latest on Amina Arraf: Andy Carvin has found out that no one in the Syrian LGBT scene knows her. He has also unsuccessfully tried to contact friends of hers, and now there’s an entirely new scenario in the room: Is Amina Arraf even real? Is hers just a fictional blog? Or is she a real person socializing online only? Andy Carvin shares his very interesting thoughts on tweetdeck.

The Empire strikes back

7 Jun

About a week ago, I read this article portraying gay and lesbian activists in Syria. I admired the courage to share one’s thoughts openly, to not hide behind pseudonyms, nevermind the fact that homosexuality is a crime in Syria. I was hoping these guys wouldn’t get in trouble with a regime that, during the past week, unleashed various measures of fighting back public insurgence. The ruling forces continue to use tactics such as cracking down protests, cutting off and then resuming Internet access, possibly staging incidents and using state media to disseminate their own version of the truth (this list probably goes on endlessly).

Said article and various others on the gay and lesbian scene had presented a young woman blogging openly on her life as a gay Syrian and on the current political events. Needless to say, one was left wondering whether her openness might make Amina Arraf an easy target for authorities at some point, especially since the regime seems to resort to taking every possible step to reinforce its prevalence. The fact that Amina is half American does not make the situation less worrisome.

This morning, I read on Global Voices that Amina Arraf has dissappeared, that her family does not know her whereabouts and that they’re worried she has been seized by authorities. Her cousin posted the news on Amina’s blog, and she will probably continue to update it with news on Amina.

This might come off a bit cheesy and unprofessional, but I really hope the hard-pressed regime does not immolate this young woman as a demonstration of power.