Layalina magazine has cut and pasted an entire blog post – its words and photograph – without giving credit to its author, one of Syria’s most important bloggers, Ayman.
Ayman’s Damascene Blog is one of the most widely read and oldest blogs written in Syria. He posts a daily photo from his city, and the story behind it. In January he posted a photo from a wedding he attended, along with a traditional Syrian wedding chant.
And this month, Layalina has shamelessly stole the entire post – even the photograph.
Layalina is a pseudo-celebrity gossip photo rag published in Lebanon. It started out on the Beiruti nightlife scene and then spread to Damascus a few years ago. It’s light on words, and filled cover-to-cover with photographs. Each month Layalina’s photographers go to every party, concert, event, meeting, any place in fact, where Damascenes might have dressed up and put a bit of make up on. They then take photos of every crowd, and get their names. Those photos go into the magazine, much to the delight of some Damascenes who seem to rate their popularity on how often they get into Layalina.
I take pride in how rarely I make it into Layalina.
The interesting thing is the price. Layalina sells for about $15. That’s an incredible price in a country who’s average magazine costs less than half a dollar. What price fame?