Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Israeli strikes on Gaza as seen on social media

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Israel and the Palestinians: How to Break the Cycle of Violence?

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Somalia : Al Shebab attack on presidential palace

Read more

FOCUS

Sharia law to be enshrined in British legal system?

Read more

ENCORE!

How a comedy dud became one of France's biggest box office hits

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya: Clashes at anti-government rally in Nairobi

Read more

WEB NEWS

ISIS leader challenged over expensive-looking wristwatch

Read more

  • Israeli airstrikes continue in Gaza as rockets intercepted over Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • Argentina beat the Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • Froome crashes out of Tour de France

    Read more

  • South Sudan independence heroes ‘have lost their way’

    Read more

  • Dozens of blindfolded bodies found south of Baghdad

    Read more

  • Alps Murder wife had ex-husband who died on same day

    Read more

  • Both candidates say they won Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Brazil players should never wear 'sacred uniform' again, press says

    Read more

  • Exiled Syrian opposition elects new president

    Read more

  • China’s first Tour de France cyclist chases his dream

    Read more

  • Ukraine imposes new conditions on peace talks with pro-Russia rebels

    Read more

  • Sarkozy's UMP party 'almost €80 million in debt'

    Read more

Middle east

‘Gay Girl in Damascus’ blog revealed as hoax

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-06-13

The author of the blog "Gay Girl in Damascus”, supposedly a Syrian-American living in Damascus, was revealed on Sunday to be a male US student in Scotland going by the name of Tom MacMaster.

AP – A new entry Sunday in a blog purportedly by a lesbian Syrian-American living in Damascus asserted that the entire saga was a hoax, supposedly written by a man.

The post, which came days after an entry saying the blogger had been arrested, was signed by “Tom MacMaster” in Istanbul, Turkey.
 
In it, the author says the narrative was fictional but insists it “created an important voice for issues I feel strongly about.”
 
It says the author never expected so much attention.
 
On Tuesday, a blog post at the same site, “A Gay Girl in Damascus,” supposedly written by the woman’s cousin, said she had been detained in Damascus after weeks on the run.
 
The story unraveled quickly after a woman in Britain said the photos on the Facebook account of the blogger known as Amina Arraf were actually of her.
 
The Associated Press reported her disappearance, confirmed by an activist in Damascus, but reporters in Virginia then could find no trace of Arraf or her family.
 
The author of the blog post on Sunday titled it “Apology to readers” but wrote “I do not believe that I have harmed anyone.” There was no listing for MacMaster in Istanbul.
 
“I only hope that people pay as much attention to the people of the Middle East and their struggles in this year of revolutions,” MacMaster wrote in Sunday’s blog posting. “The events there are being shaped by the people living them on a daily basis. I have only tried to illuminate them for a western audience.”
 
The Washington Post reported Sunday that it had corresponded with and spoken to MacMaster for several days and learned that he was a 40-year-old from the U.S. state of Georgia, a Middle East peace activist who is now working on his masters degree at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
 
In the post purportedly by Arraf’s cousin, Rania Ismail, it said Arraf was last seen Monday being bundled into a car by three men in civilian clothes as she was on her way to meet someone at the activist Local Coordination Committees. Ismail said a friend accompanying her was nearby and saw what happened.
 
A reporter for The Associated Press, who maintained a monthlong email correspondence with someone claiming to be Arraf, found the writer seemed very much like a woman in the midst of the violent change gripping Syria.
 
The writer spoke about friends in Damascus, and outlined worries about her father and hopes for the future of her country.
 
In the emails, the person acknowledged fudging some details of escaping from Syrian security officials to protect herself and her family, and painted a harrowing picture of fleeing her home.
 
Jelena Lecic, the woman whose photos were linked to Arraf’s Facebook profile, said the London woman first learned her likeness was being used when it was linked to article about Arraf in the Guardian newspaper, her spokesman has said.
 
The spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

 

Date created : 2011-06-13

  • SYRIA

    Blogger ‘Gay Girl in Damascus’ goes missing

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)