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All about #Amina, the "Gay girl in Damascus"...?

About a month ago, a girl blog from Syria (written in English, of course) came to attention worldwide. The blogger was a gay, anti-Assad/pro-democracy girl in Damascus, named Amina. I personally got to read her blog via the Guardian article on 6 May. Read More

The Guardian article in May:

Guardian news @guardiannews

A Gay Girl in Damascus becomes a heroine of the Syrian revolt

06/05/2011 17:33:34 WIB

From the Guardian article:
Writing in her blog, she said was terrified when she realised at 15 that she was gay, becoming a devout Muslim and getting married. She came out aged 26 and returned to Syria, where she taught English until the uprising closed classes.


Born in Virginia to an American southerner mother and a father from an old Damascene family, Abdullah moved to Syria at six months and grew up between the two countries. She spent a long period in the US after 1982, when an Islamist uprising in Syria was being brutally quashed.


Having family members in high places and dual nationality has, as some blog comments have pointed out, made her more able to speak. But on Wednesday Abdullah and her elderly father went into hiding in separate places after the security forces came round again. ...

The news that Amina had been kidnapped

Gay Middle East @GayMiddleEast

We need verification of Amina's case so please help, so we can campaign for her if details are provided and verified.

07/06/2011 06:31:36 WIB
Gay Middle East @GayMiddleEast

@pinkwatcher @Meemblog FYI we hooked up her girlfriend with one of our correspondents in Syria and trying to see what we can find out.

07/06/2011 06:42:47 WIB
esther addley @estheraddley

Writing about kidnap of Syrian gay blogger Amina Arraf. Family don't know which of 18 police groups have her #freeamina

07/06/2011 18:25:51 WIB
esther addley @estheraddley

If u haven't seen this... post fm "A Gay Girl in Damascus" blogger Amina Arraf the day before she was taken. #freeamina

07/06/2011 18:39:20 WIB
esther addley @estheraddley

'Blogging is a way of being fearless. If i can be 'out', others can follow' Guardian i'view with Amina Arraf #freeamina

07/06/2011 18:45:04 WIB
esther addley @estheraddley

This really is a remarkable, terrifying, v moving blog by Gay Girl in Damascus, now missing in Syria. For example

07/06/2011 21:03:38 WIB

Then the mystery starts:

Rasheed Abou-Alsamh @RasheedsWorld

@GayMiddleEast Have you seen this?! “@MazenMahdi: RT @acarvin: Well this escalated faster than I expected. #amina

08/06/2011 07:49:58 WIB
Gay Middle East @GayMiddleEast

@RasheedsWorld @MazenMahdi @acarvin yes we have... we are doing our best to verifying things within Syria...

08/06/2011 17:00:22 WIB

June 7, 2011, 12:15 pm
After Report of Disappearance, Questions About Syrian-American Blogger

However, it is not entirely clear which parts of this autobiographical novel are fact and which are fiction. Much of the same text was posted almost four years ago on another blog, Amina Arraf’s Attempts At Art (and Alliteration), that first appeared online in September 2007. ...

Ms. Arraf started blogging a month before the first mass protests in Syria, but she wrote in the introduction to the blog that she was inspired by the fact that “The winds of change are blowing hard through the Middle East.” ...

... in a post headlined, “Why I Am Doing This,” Ms. Arraf explained that her family’s political connections gave her a measure of freedom ...

Andy Carvin @acarvin

Folks, I'm writing up something explaining what I know and don't know re: Amina. Just bear with me and I'll get it posted shortly. Thanks.

08/06/2011 08:01:32 WIB
Andy Carvin @acarvin

Regarding #Amina, aka Gay Girl In Damascus, here is what I know and don't know. Earlier this week I got a ti… (cont)

08/06/2011 09:11:07 WIB

From @acarvin's long post on tweetdeck:
... Earlier this week I got a tip from an LGBT Syrian source who didn't believe Amina existed. They had told me they had asked around other members of the LGBT community and they couldn't find anyone who knew her. They also were very concerned that her blog posts were drawing attention to Syria's LGBT community in ways that could be dangerous for them.

Independently of this, two other Syrian sources I knew mentioned similar speculation to me. They didn't say she was fictitious, per se, but they were skeptical of the circumstances described in her My Father The Hero blog post. My first source also expressed similar skepticism. ...

I began to ask around on Twitter if anyone had met her in person, and I couldn't find anyone who had. ... I then asked if anyone knew of anyone else who had met her in person, and heard from several people who all mentioned the same person: a friend of hers in Canada. I tried contacting her online and didn't hear back for a while. (She has since emailed me back in the last hour but we haven't had a chance to speak yet.) I also reached out to an editor at the Guardian ...
Go and read the whole post.

Andy Carvin @acarvin

Please read my post about #Amina, aka Gay Girl In Damascus, if you haven't already. It's important you do.

08/06/2011 09:17:21 WIB
Andy Carvin @acarvin

I repeat: my greatest fear is that we're going on a wild goose chase re: #Amina's identity when it's very possible she's being brutalized.

08/06/2011 09:19:54 WIB
Andy Carvin @acarvin

I also worry that the fact that I was asking questions publicly made some so suspicious of her they're less likely to fight for her release.

08/06/2011 09:21:58 WIB
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