Where is Amina?

6 05 2011

One brave blogger has been telling her story of life as an openly gay woman in Damascus, Syria. But now she’s gone underground.

http://damascusgaygirl.blogspot.com/





One third of me is an activist

9 05 2010

One of the things that emotional upheavals bring to my life is obsessive introspection. It makes me look at the run-up to the whirlpool that happened. It makes me look at my actions and it makes me try to make sense of who I am. I didn’t think of myself as an activist until I woke up one day and heard that what I was doing was called activism. I had worked with other groups with a passion for a cause but they had not called themselves activists. Was there such a thing as a professional activist?

I had no issues though. The experience was the same. There is a group of people. They espouse a certain cause. With passion. They live by the principles it entails. I was familiar with this scenario. I had been brought up on the exploits of revolutionaries and too many red shirts around the house. I knew what was expected. Heck, I expected it of others. What is it that working on rights entails that other ‘professions’ don’t have to deal with?

To look for this difference I had to think of myself in different professions: policewoman, accountant, software engineer, data analyst, graphic designer. Why does that FEEL different? If you ignore someone’s intention of suicide, can you tell people you work to prevent suicide? Can you fight for child rights and ignore the 14 year old servant in your mother’s house?  Look the other way and you compromise your principles. And ethics. And values. When you work for a cause, you give your life over.

Activists who think of it as a job? Sounds odd.