Monday, June 13, 2011

'A Gay Girl in Damascus' actually a straight guy from Stone Mountain

Posted By on Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 12:13 PM

  • Free Amina Arraf
Amid a popular uprising in Syria, Amina Arraf — blogger of "A Gay Girl in Damascus"-fame — was supposedly stolen away by government security forces on June 6.

As it happens, Arraf is actually a bearded, pudgy, straight white guy from Stone Mountain, Ga.

From the Guardian:

Tom MacMaster, a 40-year-old Middle East activist studying for a masters at Edinburgh University, posted an update declaring that, rather than a 35-year-old feminist and lesbian called Amina Abdallah Araf al Omari, he was "the sole author of all posts on this blog".

"I never expected this level of attention," he wrote in a posting allegedly emanating from "Istanbul, Turkey".

"The events [in the Middle East] are being shaped by the people living them on a daily basis. I have only tried to illuminate them for a western audience."

According to New York magazine, photos of "Arraf" that were posted on the site were actually pictures of a London woman named Jelena Lecic who says her identity was stolen.

The header on the site now says simply, "A Hoax; A Hoax that got way out of hand. I never meant to hurt anyone."

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