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A voice rises from the web to tell what is going on in Syria, a country where it has been two months since the uprising started.
Amina Abdullah is the 34 years old blogger who became the symbol of Syrian revolution. She is half American, on her mother’s side, and half Syrian, on her father’s side, and she spent her life between US and Syria, where she currently lives. But above all she is lesbian and dissident.
Her blog, A Gay Girl in Damascus, seems to be very successful thanks to her accounts on protests and regime’s repression and heavy crack-down against civilians protesters. Her posts, written in English, tell her life experiences about homosexuality, politics and the current situation in Syria.
“An out Syrian lesbian’s thoughts on life, the universe and so on…” is the way Amina describes her blog. In a interview to Katherine Marsh, a correspondent of Guardian in Damascus, she said: “Blogging is, for me, a way of being fearless,” and she added “I believe that if I can be ‘out’ in so many ways, others can take my example and join the movement.”
When she started blogging she did not assume her blog could have become so popular. “My own day dream has been to encourage other women in Syria to be more upfront. I didn’t realistically expect much!” she said. But some weeks ago her post My Father, the hero, where she tells the episode when her father faced down two agents who came to arrest her on the charge of being a Salafist – an Islamic extremist – and a foreign agent, called the attention of many people, making it become very popular. “MY DAD had just defeated them! Not with weapons but with words … and they had left … I hugged him and kissed him; I literally owe him my life now.” This post describes a new of the regime’s repression, the dissidents’ mass arrests.
Currently she is hiding to escape from arrest, while the security services are keeping on searching for her, and she blogs whenever she can. “I don’t want to go to prison, though I am not scared of it. I believe I can do more for Syria free inside Syria than as a martyr” she said.
However in Syria homosexuality is illegal Amina decided to come out of the closet. Amina’s coming out is both sexual and political. “It’s tough being a lesbian in Syria, but it’s certainly easier to be a sexual than a political dissident.”
Her blog represents a freedom act, she could release herself through the web overcoming her fears and disclosing her ideas and her strength as a lesbian and as a political opponent. She is fighting a double war as she wrote “there’s a cyber-war on as well as one on the streets. They have hackers working busily to bring down hostile websites (I know of at least one friendly newssite where I might have drawn their attention; oddly, it’s now blocked in this country). They are hacking facebook and other social media. And they are all over every site spewing forth regime propaganda.”
Amina’s voice is one of the voices from Syria and it brings with it hopes and desires of all Syrians who want to be free and are struggling for it.
Hoping all the voices from Syria will be free soon I’d like to share this abstract from the post We are all Syria:“We need to free ourselves. If we want to protect our city or our sect or our clan, sometimes we must go forward on trust. And who better to defend those things than the collectivity of all of us? We love Syria; you love Syria. Let us come together and make this the greatest country in the greatest nation once again!”