Turns out that Amina, and her stories from Damascus, are complete works of fiction. The actual author, Tom MacMaster, published the following apology: 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. There are enough inspiring true stories in the world that we don’t need to lie to people just to get their attention.

‘A Gay Girl in Damascus’ comes clean – The Washington Post