From the LA Times
By Alexandra Zavis
BAGHDAD — For Ali and Noura, love blossomed in an Internet chat room.
Both were young, educated, devout Sunni Muslims who shared a passion for Jim Carrey movies and Arabic love tunes. For months, they chatted online obsessively. As the friendship deepened, she shyly agreed to a webcam meeting.
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But their relationship was doomed from the start: He lives in a quiet, middle-class neighborhood of east Baghdad; she is across the Tigris River in the city's war-torn west. It was out of the question that they should ever meet.
"It seemed like a pointless relationship," says Ali, who now refers to Noura as "my ex-Internet girlfriend." He stopped responding to her messages and she eventually stopped sending them.
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What a good news/ bad news story.The good news is that young Iraqis are still trying to make it work. The bad news is that bombs, bullets and bandits are intervening. Technology is the only thing allowing social interaction for a number of these kids. This is a classic example of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs coming into play. The need to survive is bashing heads with the need to interact. This likely makes the days of family-chaperoned dates look pretty sweet. Let’s hope that the violence winds down right away and we can all get busy self-actualizing. Or just get busy. It's tough to make jokes about Iraq without Bill Maher or John Stewart on staff.