Monday, June 13, 2011

Gay girl in Damascus is a Hoax

        




An alleged lesbian dissident blogger from Syria may be a hoax. Reports surfaced that the author may have been writing from Edinburgh, Scotland.

On Saturday, the website “Lezget real,” which had played a role in much of the “A Gay Girl in Damascus” blog’s initial success, posted two links that the blogger had been using to write on the site, both of them located in Edinburgh.

An entry posted on the website on Saturday read that the author “apparently is a 35 year-old lesbian living in Edinburgh, Scotland.”

Back in February, American blogger Paula Brooks corresponded with Amina Arraf, the woman who allegedly wrote the blog on her experiences as a lesbian, anti-regime activist in Damascus, and noticed the woman’s IP address was from Edinburgh, theWashington Post has reported.

According to the Washington Post, “Arraf” later wrote an email to Brooks discussing her plans to study in Britain, which the newspaper said led Brooks to believe that she may have been writing her entries from Scotland all along.

In March, “A Gay Girl in Damascus” became an internet sensation after the popular uprising against the Assad regime broke out. This past week readers began to question the reality of the blog, after an entry on the site written by a woman purporting to be a cousin of Arraf’s, Rania O. Islam, read that the blogger was taken by three plainclothes Syrian state security officers and crammed into a car.

As her story began to garner more attention, reporters and readers began to ask questions about Arraf, and it emerged that no one could confirm having ever met her in person and the picture she had posted on her site is actually of a London woman who said the images were stolen from her Facebook page.

Reporters searching for clues to Arraf’s identity have not been able to find any confirmation that such a woman exists.

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