35Rām Allāh, West Bank
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My self-summary
Born in upstate NY, studied English and Linguistics as an undergrad, Middle Eastern Studies as a grad student. I'm an ex-Catholic non-shopping agnostic, nothing against religion, and I like looking at old religious stuff. I live in Ramallah and have lived in various areas of Jerusalem and the West Bank over the last nearly 8 years. I used to frequently visit Jerusalem before they gave me a restricted visa, but sadly I currently cannot go there. I speak Arabic at work and in daily life, used to be a lot better at Hebrew. I enjoy writing fiction, like everyone else on the internet. I enjoy reading even more. I enjoy solitary exercise (walking, bike, elliptical runner, Pilates, punching bag), movie reviews for movies I may never see, and collecting guesses about where I'm from based on my funny accent and just how I break my broken Arabic. I also, also like translating. I'm currently translating a film script from Arabic to English as actual work, and also trying to translate the graphic novel Watchmen into Arabic, just as an exercise. For fun, I research people with odd beliefs (conspiracy theorists of all flavors, Satanic-Panic-mongers, people who think they are reincarnated elves, and so on). I've got an adorable pet corn snake.
What I’m doing with my life
I work at a Palestinian non-profit which assists abused women and children. Much as I value working in the non-profit and human rights sector, I will soon be coming back to the US to study for a certificate in Arabic-English translation.
I’m really good at
writing, procrastinating, language (I hope), walking fast, doing minor math in my head, babbling.
The first things people usually notice about me
I asked my good friend what she first noticed, and she said the color of my nail polish. Also, a lot of people around here seem to think I'm Russian or Ukrainian, or possibly North African.
Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food
Reading is second to breathing for me, whether it’s internet silliness about people who think they are elves/anime characters/alien hybrids, Al-Quds Newspaper, or a good novel (my first love). Stuff I have enjoyed reading includes but is by no means limited to Margaret Atwood (esp. "Cat's Eye"), David Foster Wallace, Kate Atkinson, Umberto Eco ("Foucault's Pendulum"), Nawal Saadawi, George Eliot, Alan Moore, Stephen King, Gregory Maguire, Joyce Carol Oates, Salman Rushdie, Toni Morrison. Am probably the latest person in the Western world to the whole Harry Potter party, but the series was a good distraction during an uncertain period a few winters ago. I read about half the series in Arabic translation too, for the I'm-sure-useful new vocabulary (and the hilarious transliterations). I'm not sure if that makes me more or less dorky.

Musicians I’ve listened to a lot recently and not so recently include but are not limited to Nick Cave, the Clash, the Decemberists, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen.

I don’t know every writer or musician out there, claim no superspecial fan or genre expert status. And I’m always open to seeing, hearing, reading new stuff.

My favorite websites include Rational Wiki, Language Log, TV Tropes, Snopes,, and Portal of Evil TV. I like reading and listening to skeptical takes on the conspiranoia stuff I listen to mainly for the humor value. The internet is a fascinating place.

Consumptionwise, I like caffeine, seafood, sushi, steak, salads, tofu, Palestinian food (tabouleh, maqluba, Arabic salad, mujadara), nachos, veggie pizza, Israeli breakfast, omelets, Indian food (saag paneer), dark chocolate, vanilla anything, dry red wine, whiskey, soda water, mango juice, ginger ale, and of course beer.

When I have a TV I mainly watch crime stuff and other shows about the travails of the gainfully employed (Law and Order, NCIS, House, etc). Movies I recall especially enjoying off the top of my head include things by Tarantino, things by the Coen brothers, a few things by Todd Solondz, and I'm not really a movie buff so please do not quiz me.

Frankly, am not sure what I think about answering these kinds of questions, because different music and books and movies do different things for me at different times, and I don't think you can form a coherent or accurate idea about me from this information. Still, it's easier than "What are you doing with your life?", isn't it?
Six things I could never do without
Internet, caffeine, my own room, hot water, books, my friends.
I spend a lot of time thinking about
my possible future as a successful-ish translator, time wasted, youth misspent, my third-life (as in not quite quarter-, not yet mid-) crisis, what I really ought to be doing with my 3am instead of surfing the internet for information on those who believe they are married to anime characters on the astral plane, how I should get on it and learn French or de-rust my Hebrew, my student loans, whether my adorable pet corn snake is too hot or too cold.
On a typical Friday night I am
either painting the town red or sequestered in my room.
The most private thing I’m willing to admit
I use men's deoderant. I'm synaesthetic (I see letters, numbers, and sounds, as having color, texture, and sometimes taste). I occasionally like watching Youtube videos of music from the 90's and getting all nostalgic. I'm really fond of Fruit Rollups.
You should message me if
You are NOT:
...older than me by more than 5 years at the absolute most. I want someone who is more or less at my level in terms of life experience, not someone much older or much younger.
...looking only for women younger than yourself. This makes you seem like you might be an insecure, controlling piece of work. avowed Muslim or Catholic (or other flavor of Christian, or religious Jew, or Mormon, etc) who lists "casual sex" as one of the things he's after. I'm not religious at all myself, but I am also not turned on by hypocrisy, and I'm not interested in being someone's dirty little secret. Jordan or Bangladesh or Australia or Qatar or Korea or some other place very far away from me.
...someone who only looks at women's pics and hasn't bothered to read my profile or my answers to the questions. I bothered making a profile and answering all those questions because I'm here to find a man who is compatible with me personality-wise (in addition, of course, to mutual physical attraction). If I just wanted someone who liked the way I looked, I'd go to a bar, or, I dunno, to the laundromat (I've been hit on at a laundromat once or twice, go figure). I will note that I am surely not the only person on OK Cupid who takes this approach. This is important to bear in mind when sending anyone messages. (End Public Service Announcement)
...someone who really wants kids and is looking for the motherly type. My scant capacity to nurture is probably going to be entirely expended on my adorable pet corn snake and any future snakes or possibly cats.
...someone who thinks all women lie, and thus will discount whatever I am saying now, have said above, or will say in the future, anyway.

You ARE:
...a curious, smart, personable guy who likes what he's read so far and is looking for a (potentially long-term and exclusive) companion for fun, stupid jokes, conversation, sex, perhaps reading books together, travelling if we have the money and time, mutually complaining about our daily annoyances, and having each other's back. Also, I tend toward liking slim, clean-shaven guys with dark eyes and hair, but don't let it stop you from messaging me if you don't fit that exact description.

I am also looking for people, even just potential friends, in the Albany and New York City areas, as I will be back in upstate NY in late summer, and the tentative plan is to move to NYC sometime in the fall.
The two of us