"What is damaging about this man's blog is that people will now
think that EVERYTHING IN IT WAS A LIE OR A FANTASY, whereas in its
essence it is a very authentic portrayal of a certain type of
Syrian woman: strong, educated, open minded and forward looking and
eloquent. There are many women like Amina in Syria.
"There are many Syrians who are liberal. Some people are now
using this (fiasco) as proof that the whole concept of a Gay Girl
in Damascus was an impossible dream and an orientalist fantasy.
But, in fact, and even though what Tom MacMaster has done is awful
and creepy - much of the information contained in his blog is very
real, probable and possible.
"There is a large number of half European/American and half Arab
women who are bi-lingual and bi-cultural, bi-sexual, gay and/or
hetrosexual. I am one of them and we see the world very much the
way Amina does.
"I am not Muslim, nor religious but I am gay and I am out to
some of my friends in Syria some of whom are Muslims and they are
fine about it. So it's not all a rose-tinted fantasy. Amina does
exist in many people who are very similar to her. There are also
many people in Syria who like Amina want to have a real democracy
that is non-sectarian, progressive and not backward looking. And
who are also very proud of their heritage and culture. Syria is
very different from Gulf Arab countries whose brand of Islam is
much more medieval. It's a vibrant mediterranean country where
women are quite strong (the Syrian Vice-President is a woman, as
well as the Head of Foreign Media & many others). Food, sex,
music and fun are an integral part of the culture."
"Also if you see what women did during the Egyptian revolution
and how strong and eloquent and heroic they were, you will find
that this is where Tom MacMaster got his inspiration from. It's not
all a fantasy."