On Sunday, a writer named Tom MacMaster confessed that he had fabricated the online persona of openly gay Syrian blogger Amina Abdallah Araf al Omari.

Last week, his blog captured international attention (including our blog), claiming that the fictional blogger had been abducted. According to SkyNews, MacMaster lives in the UK but wrote his apology from Istanbul, Turkey.

MacMaster wrote this “Apology to Readers” yesterday: “I never expected this level of attention. While the narrative voıce may have been fictional, the facts on thıs blog are true and not mısleading 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. I only hope that people pay as much attention to the people of the Middle East and their struggles in thıs year of revolutions. The events there are beıng shaped by the people living them on a daily basis. I have only tried to illuminate them for a western audience. 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.”

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