Detained Lesbian Blogger From Syria Turns Out to Be a Hoax

Real author of the blog 'A Gay Girl in Damascus', Tom MacMaster who is based in Turkey, posts apology but insists his fictitious account was truly reflective of the situation on the ground in Syria.

Haaretz Service
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Haaretz Service

After the story of the Syrian-American lesbian blogger who went missing during President Bashar Assad's crackdown made headlines worldwide, it turns out the entire account was a hoax.

Over the past few days, several news reports have surfaced indicating that the author of the blog was from Scotland, after the Washington Post has linked the alleged lesbian blogger's IP address to Edinburgh.

Pretending to be Amina Arraf, who wrote a blog called "A Gay Girl in Damascus" which documented updates about Syria's uprising, Tom MacMaster confessed Sunday that every post on the blog has been written by him, including the whole account of Amina's disappearance and her detention by Syrian security forces which has been reported on by various news outlets.

MacMaster, indicating his location as Istanbul, Turkey, posted a last entry on the blog on Sunday apologizing to the readers, emphasizing that the facts in his posts were truly reflective of the situation on the ground in Syria, even though the narrative voice was fictional.

"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," he wrote.

MacMaster claimed that he was simply trying to convey the events in Syria to a western audience through the fictitious blog.

"I only hope that people pay as much attention to the people of the Middle East and their struggles in ths year of revolutions," he wrote.

Women protesting in the Syrian port city of Banias yesterday. More than 1,000 women marched in an all female pro-democracy protest. Credit: Reuters

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