Verona is a dating app (available for Android and iOS) that is designed to connect Israelis and Palestinians, whether they’re looking for love or friendship. Developer Matthew Nolan was inspired to create Verona because he wanted to help bring about peace in the Middle East. The app gives Israelis and Palestinians the ability to chat in hopes of bridging cultural divides.
The beta version of Verona — named after the town from Romeo and Juliet — launched on March 29th and like some other dating apps, users can log in via Facebook. Once you select either Israeli or Palestinian, you see potential matches. The app highlights users’ interests and passions so they can initiate a connection.
The app uses Tinder’s now familiar system of swiping right for someone you like, and swiping left for those you don’t. If there’s a match, you can instantly start chatting and arrange to meet up for a date. All swipes are anonymous, so no one will know if you pass on them. The Verona team says the app is open to anyone, anywhere, who chooses to identify with either nationality.
Nolan said, “I was talking with my friend who is Palestinian, who had a new girlfriend who is Israeli. We were joking around about [well-known Jewish dating site] JDate. I was like, ‘Maybe we should do a J-P Date, Jewish-Palestinian Date.’”
While there are plenty of dating apps available for Android users, there aren’t many apps like Verona. At this time, Verona’s goal is to provide a new platform for a different kind of conversation. Nolan believes that while connecting two groups in conflict might be a crazy idea, he feels like the idea just might work.
As of right now the Verona matchmaking app is only available Android. The free app has reached more than 1,000 downloads since April. Nolan says he’s hoping to release the Verona dating app on iOS later in June. You can download the Verona matchmaking Android app from the Google Play Store here.