With the promise of ‘World peace – one swipe at a time,’ a Tinder-style dating app, Verona, was launched recently, that connects Israelis and Palestinians, and hopes to achieve peace in the Middle East. Verona dating app hopes to connect Israelis and Palestinians who are looking for love, friendship or those interested in achieving peace between the two feuding nations.
Verona dating app functions much the same way as the popular Tinder. A user needs to login via their Facebook account to create a profile, followed by identifying themselves as ‘Israeli’ or ‘Palestinian.’ Then, a user is shown nearby prospective matches, who are identified with the opposite group. Same as on Tinder, a user swipes right if they like someone and left if they don’t. Once both users swipe right, it’s a match and they can start conversing through the app, maybe even meet.
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The name, Verona, is a nod to the city in Shakespeare’s love story of star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet, where the two meet and fall in love, despite their feuding families.
Speaking about the idea behind Verona dating app, its creator Matthew Nolan said,
“I was talking with my friend who is Palestinian, who had a new girlfriend who is Israeli. We were joking around about JDate. I was like, ‘Maybe we should do a J-PDate, Jewish-Palestinian Date.’”
“I very much believe that the basis of any relationship is communication,” said Nolan. “So if these two cultures are forced to be separate in all this conflict, forming relationships between them could be the glue that hopefully ignites a shift in consciousness.”
Although only the beta version has been released, Verona dating app has already around 1000 users, most of whom are in the New York area, where the concentration of people and college students with Israeli and Palestinian roots is large. Surprisingly enough, a large number of users are located in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and the West Bank. Reacting to this piece of news, Nolan said, “We’re still not sure how they’re hearing about us.”
Though the effort put into the app and the reason for its development are admirable, it remains to be seen how the new dating app will achieve ‘world peace – one swipe at a time.’
Until then, happy dating!