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Amina, la lesbica che col suo blog sta scuotendo la Siria (oggi altri 16 oppositori uccisi)

Il blog di Amina Abdullah, una giovane lesbica siriana di origine americana, sta scuotendo la Siria, dove oggi nel nuovo venerdì di lotta agenti del despota Assad hanno ucciso altre 16 persone(un’immagine della protesta a Damasco). La storia di ciò che racconta Amina è nel blog su , l’articolo è del Guardian del 6.5.2011:

A Gay Girl in Damascus becomes a heroine of the Syrian revolt

Blog by half-American ‘ultimate outsider’ describes dangers of political and sexual dissent

Katherine Marsh in Damascus, Friday 6 May 2011 11.24 BST

Article history

She is perhaps an unlikely hero of revolt in a conservative country. Female, gay and half-American, Amina Abdullah is capturing the imagination of the Syrian opposition with a blog that has shot to prominence as the protest movement struggles in the face of a brutal government crackdown.

Abdullah’s blog, A Gay Girl in Damascus, is brutally honest, poking at subjects long considered taboo in Arab culture. “Blogging is, for me, a way of being fearless,” she says. “I believe that if I can be ‘out’ in so many ways, others can take my example and join the movement.”

Her blog really took off two weeks ago with a post entitled My Father the Hero, a moving account of how her father faced down two security agents who came to arrest her, accusing her of being a Salafist and a foreign agent.

Abdullah’s family is well-connected – she has relatives in the government and the Muslim Brotherhood whom she prefers not to name – and she says being politically active was a “natural thing”. “Unfortunately, for most of my life being aware of Syrian politics means simply observing and only commenting privately.”

That changed when protests broke out and Abdullah joined them, blogging about her experiences. “Teargas was lobbed at us. I saw people vomiting from the gas as I covered my own mouth and nose and my eyes burned,” she wrote after one demonstration. “I am sure I wasn’t the only one to note that, if this becomes standard practice, a niqab is a very practical thing to wear in future.”

The blend of humour and frankness, frivolity and political nous comes from an upbringing that straddles Syria and the US. “I’m the ultimate outsider,” she says. “My views are heavily informed by being both a member of a small marginal minority as an Arab Muslim in America and as a part of a majority as a Sunni in Syria, and of course as a woman and as a sexual minority.”

Homosexuality is illegal in Syria and a strict taboo, although the state largely turns a blind eye. “It’s tough being a lesbian in Syria, but it’s certainly easier to be a sexual than a political dissident,” she says. “There are a lot more LGBT people here than one might think, even if we are less flamboyant than elsewhere.”

Writing in her blog, she said was terrified when she realised at 15 that she was gay, becoming a devout Muslim and getting married. She came out aged 26 and returned to Syria, where she taught English until the uprising closed classes.

Her posts vividly describe falling for other women, finding a Damascene hair salon full of gay women and having a frank conversation with her father about her sexuality. “For my family it is a preferable outcome than a promiscuous heterosexual daughter,” she jokes.

Born in Virginia to an American southerner mother and a father from an old Damascene family, Abdullah moved to Syria at six months and grew up between the two countries. She spent a long period in the US after 1982, when an Islamist uprising in Syria was being brutally quashed.

Despite facing prejudice– in both the US and Syria – Abdullah sees no conflict in being both gay and Muslim. “I consider myself a believer and a Muslim: I pray five times a day, fast at Ramadan and even covered for a decade,” she says. “I believe God made me as I am and I refuse to believe God makes mistakes.”

Having family members in high places and dual nationality has, as some blog comments have pointed out, made her more able to speak. But on Wednesday Abdullah and her elderly father went into hiding in separate places after the security forces came round again. She has refused to go to Beirut with her mother, and is blogging when she can, moving from house to house with a bag of belongings.

Abdullah is also writing a book, in the hope that a revolution will bring more freedoms, both sexual and political. “The Syria I always hoped was there, but was sleeping, has woken up,” she says. “I have to believe that, sooner or later, we will prevail.”

Katherine Marsh is a pseudonym for a journalist who lives in Damascus


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