The Sryrian gay girl, Amina’s blog posts, that literally grabbed world media attention turned out to be a hoax writing by a 40-year-old Edinburgh University masters student namely, Tom MacMaster.
In his latest blog post on Sunday, Macmaster admitted the fact that he was “Amina Abdullah, who had described herself as a Syrian political blogger.
The blog post titled 'A Gay Girl in Damascus, An out Syrian lesbian's thoughts on life, the universe and so on ...' had attracted international attention with stories of the lesbian blogger, supposedly born in Virginia in October 1975, with Northern Irish roots and ancestors who fought in the American war of Independence.
The blog had tremendous flow of response and comments.Recently, the news of her abduction, apparently posted on the blog by her cousin Rania O. Ismail, sparked a wave of alarm among her online followers.
Supporters even set up a Free Amina Abdullah group on the social networking site Facebook, attracting nearly 15,000 followers.
First doubts about her story were raised last week by Andy Carvin, an executive from National Public Radio in the US, after Miss Arraf was reportedly kidnapped.
Carvin, who has emerged as an expert on the Arab Spring uprisings, wrote: I began to ask around on Twitter if anyone had met her in person, and I couldn't find anyone who had.
A photograph given to newspapers for publication by Miss Arraf then turned out to be of a young woman from London.
Over the weekend it emerged, an address given by Miss Arraf in an online discussion group was owned by MacMaster, originally from Georgia, who is working for a master's degree at Edinburgh.
Computers used to send emails from Amina were traced to the university, and it was discovered that a photo on the blog was previously published online by MacMaster's wife, Britta Froelicher, said a report in The Telegraph.
On Sunday, MacMaster in a post titled 'Apology to readers', wrote,“I never expected this level of attention. While the narrative vo?ce may have been fictional, the facts on this blog are true and not misleading as to the situation on the ground. I do not believe that I have harmed anyone -- I feel that I have created an important voice for issues that I feel strongly about.”
Carvin wrote on Twitter that he was trying to calculate the number of people Tom hurt – by pretending he was Amina and by taking attention away from Syrians, according to reports.
“This experience has sadly only confirmed my feelings regarding the often superficial coverage of the Middle East and the pervasiveness of new forms of liberal Orientalism”, said MacMaster, whose thesis is on seventh-century Constantinople.