Wednesday, June 8, 2011

For A Gay Girl in Damascus

WARNING: This is not my normal sort of post!


Some of you in the blog-o-sphere, or even just avid news consumers, may have heard of this girls blog before: A Gay Girl in Damascus. I first learned about her in late April when the story was making the rounds about this girl and her bravery and her father's heroism, as recorded in this post.


I have felt touched and supportive of this blog. To be an open lesbian in country like Syria cannot be easy. And then in the last month everything has exploded. There is a revolution happening that most news sites seem to put aside as security forces versus protestors. The problems are much deeper than that.




So, really, less than an hour ago, I learned that the writer of this blog, Amina Abdallah Araf al Omari was abducted by armed men on June 6. This struck me as a tragedy. The health and status of Amina is unknown, no one in her family can find her, in fact several of her family members have also been detained. It is supposed that the forces that have her are trying to forcible deport her.


There is no indication that Amina has been killed, if they wanted her dead, they would have done so by now. Her situation is unique. She has gained an international following from her bravery and heart. The people who have her are smart, they know that her death on their hands would be disastrous. I fear for others in her situation who might not enjoy that attention.


So, you have the opportunity to help. Show your solidarity for a brave and loving girl, certainly scared and held against her will. I would first suggest supporting the Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/FreeAminaArraf. Follow her blog: A Gay Girl in Damascus. And e-mail your country's Syrian Embassy: http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-of/syria. (Facebook has instructions and a form letter you can send.) If you are in the United States, it is recommended you e-mail the Syrian Ambassador Imad Moustapha, Ph.D., at theambassador@syrembassy.net.


I have already taken all of these steps. I encourage you to do the same. It is not often that I talk about a political matter on my blog, but this is something I feel really strongly about. The United States of America are not without fault on several issues, as many of us know. But this is a severe issue that I believe immediate action can make a difference in.


As for my own compulsion for taking these actions, they are three-fold. First, Amina is a human being like the rest of us; she does not deserve to have her rights infringed upon, especially her freedoms of speech and her pursuit of happiness. Second, she is a blogger, an assault on allowing the free exchange of expression over the web against anyone is an assault against me and everything I stand for, as it should be for all bloggers. And lastly, I am the older brother of a gay girl (I also have another awesome younger sister).


I love my sisters for everything they are. And as strange as this may sound, I love my sister's partner as another sister. They have been together in a lasting relationship that I have seen more love out of than many straight couples. The idea of being afraid of such a lifestyle makes me sad, my sister has always had the maternal instinct and been the boldest (for being the middle child) of three children. I love her, and I can accept that way of life. And if anyone threatened her, I can imagine what Amina's family is going through.


So again, I urge you to take action. And even if you don't want to e-mail and get into the thick of it, almost everyone has a Facebook, you can at least 'like' that. Show your love for human life. Appreciate a sister, especially one who has placed as much love in you as you can place in her. "Borders mean nothing when you have wings." And I believe every astronaut and cosmonaut has seen this first hand from their vantage point.


(I'll have an Astro-Lesson on comets tomorrow, this obviously takes precedence.)

LOL, TROLLED.


30 comments:

The Angry Lurker said...

Ok, will do.

-E- said...

thanks for bringing this to our attention.

minecraft129 said...

Oh wow thats terrible... The world is a terrible place.

AllenTesch said...

I hadn't heard of this yet. Thanks.

The Dawg said...

This is news to me. I'll look into it.

Jay said...

wow, i didn't know about this. thank you for sharing this and your own personal story.

following, liking and supporting. :)

JayPower said...

Awesome blog, will check this out asap ;D

Hook Games said...

That is so terrible.

Astronomy Pirate said...

Jay, you've been following this blog already, but regardless, thanks for the good support!

supertwiks said...

wow gay girls in damascus have it really hard man...

Dejch said...

that's not good

Solsby Kid said...

This is terrible =/

Dootzkie said...

1. Write an email
2. Feel like you did something important
3. Don't do anything when you see injustice in real life
4. Go on through life as you did...

Maybe Ill sound like a heartless prick, but screw the letter writing and see what you can do for those around you. Maybe they are suffering and you don't know or don't want to know or you are afraid to approach or help.

Moobeat said...

powerful stuff

Dave said...

My heart goes out to those poor people who are at the mercy of these barbarians. I recently posted on Syria and my heart goes out to them. I fear for Amina Arraf I really do. I hope she comes out of this ok. Fingers crossed.

Zombie said...

Thanks for letting us know about this. I had no idea.

Zach said...

Wow, what an awful sitatution

Lost.in.Idaho said...

Awesome post, and I'm pulling for her safe release as well.

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Good post. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

Banacek said...

This is the first I've heard of this. Will do.

phthalo. said...

Big ups to yourself for the posting this. This is a tragic issue.

I still find it perplexing, being from the comparatively far more liberal west, that there are still places like this that have such ridiculous attitudes to gay people and their rights.

Supporting the cause.

Malkavian said...

Damn this is extreme, will do my part.

Blk Jesus said...

i havent heard of this thanks for the info

Rorschach Redemption said...

Don't take this the wrong way: I sympathize, but there is enough going on around my neck of the woods that I cannot spare any more empathy. I can appreciate and applaud the humanity in your efforts here, but at the risk of sounding cold, I will return later for knowledge on "life as we know it" (which ironically is exactly what you are posting about here, but I am referencing your blog's astronomical "tagline.")

ed said...

sucks, hope she is ok

Biff Tanner said...

This post is both intriguing and fascinating, keep up the great work.

//Cheer§

Kicking Rocks said...

thats horrible!

BrAd? said...

Bit of a change from your normal posts, aha

Good read though.

Anonymous said...

How do you feel to find out this blogger is really a fat white guy from atlanta? Betrayed, used, trolled? Victim of psyops? http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/a-gay-girl-in-damascus-comes-clean/2011/06/12/AGkyH0RH_story.html

Astronomy Pirate said...

Clever troll. Not mad though, it happens, and people in Syria are still in terrible shape as far as freedoms and rights go. So, people should still recognize that Syria is in bad shape, and this kind of story may or may not actually be occurring. The facts are that thousands have already died.

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