Egyptian woman for dating
Two years ago, 29-year-old Sameh Saleh, a technology entrepreneur from Cairo, realised that a close relative of his, Amira, was suffering.Slightly younger than him, she was on the lookout for a husband, but despite spending two years searching for a suitor, she’d had no luck.
But despite their best efforts, entrepreneurs behind these sorts of apps often find opposition from the most pious observers, as Younas has discovered through his experiences with Muzmatch.
Good-looking from a respectable family, and a qualified medical doctor, she should have had no problem finding a fiancé.
Her father has met with around 40 young men over the years who have visited Amira’s family home to discuss marrying her, but so far, nothing has come of it. “I never have enough time to get to know them.” Under her father’s strict rules, she is able to have no more than two meetings with a potential suitor, all in the company of her family, and asked to make a decision shortly after. In Egypt, where life revolves around marriage, premarital sex remains fiercely taboo and the word for an unmarried woman, is a malicious insult – it’s the reason why, for this story, Amira is using a fake name.
For example, explains Saleh, “During the initial match, users don’t see much,” referring to the first phase of Harmonica’s match-making.
In stark contrast to applications like Tinder – which Saleh likes to call a “meat market” – female users have the option to hide their photos until they’ve approved another user to view them.
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These days, young people are more inclined to use their mobiles phones “for all lifestyle issues,” says Spira, “whether it's an airline ticket, booking a hair appointment, or scheduling a date.” But while millennials in the Middle East have proved just as receptive to all things social media as their Western counterparts, dating apps have proved to be the exception.