[Media prompt] Gaza dating site matches widows to men seeking 2nd (or 3rd) wife. He was looking for a woman with particular attributes, hopefully a widow of a man killed in the struggle against Israel…
Rami Finds a Wife
Rami Shatali kissed his three daughters goodnight, hugged his wife, who retired for the evening to their bedroom with a saucer of pumpkin seeds to nibble while she read, and cleared a space on the kitchen table for his refurbished laptop, an ancient IBM ThinkPad. He waited for it to boot up, drumming on the table top with his fingers, then as soon as a connection was established logged into Zalam, the hottest dating site in Gaza.
He sighed when he saw, again, the indisputable numerical evidence that women held his profile in low regard. Nobody had viewed his bio or profile picture, and there were no responses to the messages he laboured over and posted last night, heartfelt requests to another three widows. It did not take an advanced degree in mathematics, of which Rami was not in possession, to deduce the single most important source for his failure to attract a second wife; the ratio of widows to available husbands was, by his estimation, not less than one-to-fifty. At this rate he would be sleeping with Mona for all his God given years, and Allah had not given man a libido to expend it on just one wife.
Rami closed the computer down and slid it back into the cotton padded cover Mona had sewn when he first brought it home. He sipped on his peppermint tea, listening to the sounds from outside float in through the open window. What was needed, he thought, were more martyrs. He considered praying to Allah for Jews to kill more Palestinians in the struggle against Israel, but came to his senses before the words formed fully in his mind.
When he crawled into bed, Mona already fast asleep, the saucer with two or three seeds remaining placed neatly on top of her novel, he quickly fell into a dream about of his future second wife. And then before dawn, it came to him, the solution to the problem of ratios; Jews would kill more Palestinians if more of them waged war on Israel. This problem did not require the divine intervention of Allah, it simply needed an earthly plan to convince more Arabs to sacrifice themselves in the battle against the Jews.
That very day, Rami left the fruit stall at which he was employed early, and visited Mohammed the printer. The following day, he went back to collect the thousand pamphlets he had ordered, which even by the standards of the Palestinian National Authority were incendiary. Under the cover of darkness, forgoing even Zalam for the rest of the week, Rami pasted his call for a new push to exterminate Israel from the face of the planet on every pole, fence and wall he could find.
Within a month, the international press was brimming with good news stories about the wave of suicide bombings and Palestinian deaths. Rami’s propaganda had succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. If Abdul, the owner of the fruit stall, promoted him, he might even be able to afford a third wife before the second fell below an acceptable standard.