Thursday, June 16, 2011


Week from hell. So glad it's the weekend (it rained, though. YAY). To my reader, Spordiac Afterthoughts, if you're attending a Dhofari wedding, it is not common to take a wedding gift. Only close friends/family of the bride usually give gifts. In fact, our society really isn't big on gifts at all, so don't worry too much if you don't know the bride personally. If you do know her personally, the norm is perfume or a watch or a beautiful scarf (shaila), or jewellery.

This week isn't a good week for bloggers around the world. If you haven't heard about the blog scandal from Damascus, let me enlighten you. There was a FAMOUS blog called 'Gay Girl in Damascus' which highlighted what it was like to be a lesbian woman in a highly conservative Muslim society (i.e. Syria). The blog caused uproar in the Middle East and there were tons of people in Syria trying to find the blogger. The blogger then started reporting on the protests and arrests in Syria and became a 'credible' source for news agencies abroad on what was going on in Syria. Finally, a post appeared on the blog from the 'cousin' of the blogger saying Amina Abdullah (the blogger) had been snatched/kidnapped/taken/arrested in Damascus. This post caused more uproar in Syria and abroad with over 150,000 people joining the facebook page to release her. Human Rights NGOs got involved, and it was all over the internet. The blogger then was forced to confess on his blog that no, he is not a lesbian Syrian, and no he is not in Damascus. His name is Tom McMaster and he's a US Citizen doing his Masters in Scotland. It has been ALL OVER THE NEWS and as far as I'm concerned, people are over-reacting to the whole thing. But at the same time, it sheds light on the credibility of bloggers. People now assume they can no longer trust bloggers. There has been discussion over the past few years on whether blogs can be credible sources of information. I have been quoted several times in newspapers and publications around the world as 'Dhofari Gucci'. What if I turned out to be an expat man in Indonesia? (see?). It's a mess and I'm not sure what to think, but dear readers out there, no I am not a man, and yes I am a girl in Salalah. Rest assured. Cheers!


  1. I'm definitely The Linoleum Surfer, and have never even been to Syria, let alone been a lesbian or even a girl.

    I believe you Nadia :)

  2. Have you really been quoted in newspapers? That is great to hear, do you have links or PDF's of the articles? i would love to read them, in Arabic or English, or whatever language you have them in.

    I think I had read the blog you mentioned once or twice. My university had posted them on Facebook page or something.

  3. LOL @ the irony. You were just saying we won't trust bloggers, then you say "I am not a man".

  4. Strange how one story can open up a whole can of proverbial worms. The Web is everyone's soapbox, and as long as it remains free, anyone can say more or less anything... and as the New Yorker cartoon famously states, "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog." The ethical implications are massive...
    As readers we should remember to be open-minded, but not so much that their brains fall out. As bloggers we should remember that credibility is painfully earned and easily lost.
    The big issue with freedom is... what do we do with it?