1. News & Issues

Malath Aumran

By

Malath Aumran

Rami Nakhle (Malath Aumran)

Al-Jazeera TV

Who is he?:

Malath Aumran is the alias for Rami Nakhle, a Syrian pro-democracy activist who has waged a cyber campaign of dissent against the regime of Bashar Assad. After the Arab Spring protests spilled over into the Syrian uprisings of 2011, Malath Aumran has used Twitter and Facebook to keep the world abreast of the crackdown and continued demonstrations. Tweeting in English, the updates has filled a valuable void where media have not been allowed inside of Syria. Because of his activism, Aumran is under threat from the regime and continues his work from a safehouse in Lebanon.

Birthdate:

Born Oct. 16, 1982. In one interview he mentioned a sister who was jailed for nearly three months for criticizing Assad in a conversation at Damascus University. He told the New York Times that his pseudonym was crafted from an inside joke based on family nicknames. The photo he uses on Twitter and Facebook isn't actually his face, but a composite photo of 32 different men.

Personal life:

Aumran was studying political science at Damascus University before he had to go into hiding. He wrote online under his real name for two years about the need for basic freedoms in Syria before adopting the name Malath Aumran to wage a sharper campaign of dissent against the regime. In spring 2010, he was taken in for questioning by secret police, who had not made the connection between Nakhle and Aumran. He withstood 40 interrogation sessions at the hands of the authorities, but didn't betray the connection. In January 2011, Aumran paid a smuggler $500 to take him across the border to a Beirut safehouse.

Political affiliation:

Pro-democracy and in opposition to the Baathist regime of Assad. He has also warned against letting Islamists gain a foothold in the revolution.

Career:

Aumran plays an integral role in pulling togther regime opponents via the web, and disseminating information about the real events in Syria out to the whole world. He gives international interviews via a secure Skype line and is frequently called upon as a Syria expert. It's estimated that he is one of 18-20 key activists helping pull together protest movements and get information out of the country including street video. Even though the cover is blown on his pseudonym, Nakhle continues to use it because of the name recognition across the web.

Future:

Syrian authorities are not content to let this powerful activist live in peaceful exile: The Syrian secret police tried to discredit Aumran by putting out a rumor that he is a Mossad agent, even creating and posting online a Hewbrew email and claiming Aumran wrote it. He is openly threatened on Facebook and Twitter, with authorities claiming that they know his hiding place and claiming that Syrian sympathizers in Lebanon will find him. But he refuses to give up: "I got addicted to fighting for freedom," he told France 24.

Quote:

"When I saw people on the ground, chanting to topple this regime, I thought okay, we are really changing history. We are writing the new history of Syria… I am doing my best as a member of this movement.”
  1. About.com
  2. News & Issues
  3. World News
  4. Middle East
  5. Syria
  6. Malath Aumran - Rami Nakhle - Profile of Syrian Cyber Activist

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.