10 June 2011

This is what happens when experts on the Arab world are ostracised from the media

The biggest hint that she's made up is that she posts transliterated Arabic by copy and pasting from other websites (i.e. what she posts are stuff like the Qur'an or the Syrian national anthem all easily available). Why would a fluent speaker of Arabic and English need to find something to copy and paste to post transliterated Arabic? Even I can transliterate Arabic script myself just by typing it and my Arabic is pretty poor. Also anyone think it likely that a Syrian would write this? "I also studied enough Hebrew to read and sort of speak (once you learn the alphabet, it’s easy enough though Maltese is even easier). Why Hebrew? Well, I had a crazy idea that it might be useful and I might some day be a diplomat with need for Turkish and Hebrew. Maybe even one day working in our embassy in Tel Aviv or, thinking wildly, being part of the team that restores the Jaulan through negotiations. I’d like that. I could see myself in such office one day, when the new Syria comes."

Almost as ridiculous as her story that Syrian mukhabarat came to house to arrest her and threatened to rape her but her father reasoned with them and they said sorry for troubling you and then left. Yeah right. Syrian mukhabarat are really that open to debate these things.  The whole thing is stupid. But if you call yourself a gay in the Arab world who's so oppressed Western liberals will jump all over you and believe everything you say even if there's no evidence you even exist. So long as whatever you say happens to fit their agenda of course. Anyway even if this isn't fake I think it's better to see the bigger picture than focus on one individual especially when the case is so murky. Firstly critics of the regime/bloggers are arrested/threatened/beaten up/imprisoned in Syria and similar Arab regimes all the time this is not something novel. I don't see why this one person gets so much attention other than to play orientalist games i.e. look at these horrible repressive misogynistic Arabs arresting a 'gay girl' (as if that would have made her arrest any more likely). Secondly if this got any attention in Syria it would be a propaganda victory for a regime which I want overthrown. Their line is that the trouble is all being caused by 'mysterious armed gangs' and that the Western/Saudi media are making up false stories to create mischief. This could so easily be spun in their favour because papers like the Guardian decided to give publicity to a previously very obscure blog without doing any basic journalistic checks of its credibility. It's sad that there's barely any decent journalism on what's going on in Syria, everyone (Syrian regime, Muslim Brotherhood, Saudi media, Al-Jazeera, Hariris, Hezbollah, Iran, Americans, Western media) is just propagandising for their own agenda.

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