What Happens When Online Dating Meets the Middle East
(RAMALLAH, Palestine) -- Dating is hard, but it's even harder if you're trying to meet someone in the capital of a war-torn region like Palestine, according to excerpts from a new blog called PalesTINDER.
The Tumblr page posts singles' conversations from the dating apps Tinder and Grindr, revealing that there really is no escaping the area's political tensions amid attacks in Israel and the Gaza Strip-- even if you're just trying to spark a conversation.
"It started as my roommate and I were sitting on the couch like, 'Let's see what's happening on Tinder,'" Caitlin Kent, 26, told ABC News from Ramallah, Palestine, where the San Francisco native works at a summer camp.
But Kent said she was shocked by the "racist" responses she got when other users learned she lived in Ramallah, and decided to gather screenshots of similar conversations her friends in Palestine had, and posted them on a blog.
Now the excerpts, which Kent says are all from her or her friends' personal conversations, are gaining traction online, highlighting how even something innocent like an online chat can spiral into heated political discussion.
In one conversation, someone claiming to be from Tel Aviv, Israel, refuses to visit Ramallah because he says he doesn't want to be killed. In another, someone assumes the other party is a Hamas supporter because she is in Palestine.
Yet another conversation brings up Romeo and Juliet -- a way to justify an Arab and a Jewish person speaking to one another.
The dialogue can go both ways, as tensions have been high between Israelis and Palestinians for decades.
Kent, who blurred names and faces before she posted the snapshots online, said the blog isn't designed to shed light on what dating life is like there, but just serves as further proof of how divisive the Middle East has become.
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