Another of those stories has jarred me into recognition of the risks some people take just to write like I do. "A Gay Girl in Damascus" blogger and poet Amina Abdallah has reportedly been abducted by armed men in Syria.
Like many others, I became aware of Amina's blog after her eye-opening post calling her dad a "hero" for standing up to officials who showed up to threaten her. International attention followed, and Amina herself was proclaimed a hero for her unbelievable courage in speaking out as an out lesbian in a country ruled by an oppressive regime.
Amina was speaking out to help others find their freedom, and now we can her fight for hers. Everything I've read said that the more media coverage, the better, as Syrian officials may cave to international pressure to release her. So if we all take a moment to spread the word in any way we can, we might make a difference.
Did I mention that Amina is also a U.S. citizen? Not that that should make a difference in how much we care about her civil rights being violated. But perhaps it should make those of us in the U.S. take a moment to consider the risks that we take for our freedom. In a blog post about her multi-layered identity, Amina writes of being both a Syrian and a Virginian, raised on Civil War battlefields. She says, "I do not hate people nor do I encroach but if I become hungry the usurper's flesh will be my food. Beware.. Beware of my hunger and my anger!"
We know what happens when Amina becomes angry - she speaks up, and clearly people hear her. What will we do, with our anger for Amina?