Amina Arraf, the Syrian lesbian blogger who purportedly penned the blog, “A gay girl in Damascus” garnered a lot of media attention when she suddenly went missing, apparently kidnapped by three men from Bashar Al Assad’s ‘Mukhabarat’, Syria’s much feared security forces. But concern quickly turned to suspicion when bloggers (especially in Syria) started casting doubt on the existence of “Amina.” After days spent worrying, searching for clues & speculating, the hunt came to a halt when a 40 year-old American, Tom MacMaster, confessed on June 12th that he was the sole author of the blog. But, what does this story mean to women and LGBT bloggers and activists (especially in high risk regions like the Middle East) who may not feel as safe or feel that people may not trust them because of the now infamous “Amina” hoax? Read the social media story about “Amina” prepared by Nelly Bassily.
Are you a young activist/blogger who has to conceal their identity in order to write and denounce sensitive issues? What do you think the “Amina” story means for activism and blogging? What issues does it bring to light from your perspective? Leave us a comment. We want to hear your story.