Global Tech. When online matchmaker et3arraf closed its second round of funding this week, CEO Cedric Maalouf was ecstatic. The idea for et3arraf was borne from a heartbreak Maalouf suffered in France. He and Nimer met at a tech mixer, and agreed that marriage websites were an untapped market in the Arab world. And at the same time, there is a lot of social pressure for young people to get married at a certain age: You are 30? You are not married? You should find a wife. Promoting successful marriages might sound lofty, but in conservative countries like Egypt or Saudi Arabia, young singles are challenged to find a mate. There is limited interaction between a man and a woman. Photo by Osman Kudsi.
While seemingly endless new niche dating apps pop up constantly, one of the things we never seem to talk about is how much and how often they center American dating ideals. Imagine trying to use Grindr in a place where being gay is illegal, or using Tinder in a place where female sexuality is anything but autonomous. Matchmallows was designed with Middle Eastern users in mind, taking into account that it’s more difficult for them, especially women, to feel comfortable posting photos of themselves and their real names on a dating site.
Apps like Hinge , for example, link with your Facebook, so it’s hard to obscure your real name. In an effort to cater to a very different set of cultural norms, Matchmallows set out to be the anti-appearance-based app. Here are seven things to know about Matchmallows:.
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The Middle East Shows It’s Ready For Online Dating
To avoid detection by Libyan secret police, who monitor Facebook and Twitter, Mahmoudi, the leader of the Ekhtalef “Difference” Movement, used what’s considered the Match. The Libyan businessman turned opposition leader said he was never politically active before, but as he watched revolutions topple governments in neighboring countries, he knew he needed to act. So he created a Mawada profile called “Where Is Miriam? The conservative site doesn’t allow men to communicate with other men, so other revolutionaries posed as women to contact him, assuming aliases like “Sweet Butterfly,” “Opener of the Mountain,” “Girl of the Desert” and “Melody of Torture.
To complete their profiles, they answered the site’s boilerplate questions, such as “How much of your face do you cover? On the site, the revolutionaries used poetry laced with revolutionary references to gauge support and make initial contact.
This dating app is the Middle East’s answer to Tinder. Matchmallows wants to help alleviate the pressure of online dating. Feb 29, ,
Dating is a stage of romantic relationships in humans whereby two people meet socially with the aim of each assessing the other’s suitability as a prospective partner in an intimate relationship. It is a form of courtship , consisting of social activities done by the couple, either alone or with others. The protocols and practices of dating, and the terms used to describe it, vary considerably from country to country and over time.
While the term has several meanings, the most frequent usage refers to two people exploring whether they are romantically or sexually compatible by participating in dates with the other. With the use of modern technology, people can date via telephone or computer or just meet in person. Dating may also involve two or more people who have already decided that they share romantic or sexual feelings toward each other. These people will have dates on a regular basis, and they may or may not be having sexual relations.
This period of courtship is sometimes seen as a precursor to engagement.
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As much as most Arabs have had enough of the questions and constant pressure when it comes to getting married and starting a family, “love” is one of the most beautiful feelings a human can experience. For introverts, busy people, or maybe lazy couch-potatoes, dating apps and websites are there to help you stumble upon your perfect match in the most effortless way. And with modern technology connecting so many people, finding “the one” can be so much easier nowadays.
One of their major Apps is ” Al Khattaba “. Do you love yourself?
49 million Americans have tried dating sites, reports Statistic Brain Research Institute. Here, victims are contacted by potential suitors living abroad in Eastern.
The oldest peer-reviewed publication dedicated solely to the study of the Middle East. The Middle East Journal is the oldest peer-reviewed publication dedicated solely to the study of the Middle East. First printed in , the Journal continues to present readers with original and objective research and analysis, as well as source material, on the area from Morocco to Pakistan and including Central Asia.
Each issue of The Middle East Journal includes articles written by renowned scholars, foreign policy analysts and area experts; a chronology maintained continuously since , organized by subject and country; and book reviews that are among the most respected, comprehensive, and up-to-date in the field of Middle Eastern studies. Subscriber Login.
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West Censoring East: The Use of Western Technologies by Middle East Censors, 2010-2011
The app, as a statement by Match Group notes, approaches mobile matchmaking with respect to local traditions and cultures. You can read more details about how the app works in this piece we had written last year. It was critical that what we built was something to protect them and represent the values that our community cares deeply about.
It was also important that our parents would be comfortable with them using our app. Harmonica was backed Startups it was part of their global accelerator and Flat6Labs Cairo.
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For a Middle Eastern woman in the West, dating and marrying do not come easy
To view this bulletin as a PDF, click here. The OpenNet Initiative has documented network filtering of the Internet by national governments in over forty countries worldwide. Countries use this network filtering as one of many methods to control the flow of online content that is objectionable to the filtering governments for social, political, and security reasons.
Filtering is particularly appealing to governments as it allows them to control content not published within their national borders.
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Austin Bodetti. Date of publication: 22 July, Lebanon, a well-known hub for the Middle East’s boundary-pushing businesses, hosts the mobile application making the most aggressive push to capture Tinder’s market share.
A graphic from et3arraf emphasizes how the site’s privacy features protect Et3arraf lays claim to being the first Middle Eastern dating platform.
But in the Middle East, where dating has an etiquette of its own, entrepreneurs are cashing in on the popularity of online dating by giving it a regional twist – from halal dating to polygamy-enabling apps. One of the few things you can count on never going out of style is love, so it’s no surprise that the online dating business is booming. It hasn’t quite transcended its reputation as a casual, occasionally-slimy hookup finder , but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming the world’s most downloaded dating app.
In an effort to improve and capitalise on Tinder’s prevailing popularity, developers around the world have been tweaking its winning formula to suit their niches, whether geographical, cultural, or religious. Some of the MENA’s newest and increasingly popular dating platforms are designed with culture in mind, with settings that value privacy, modesty and specific religious values. Matchmallows is the personality-based antidote to the sometimes superficial approach of photo-heavy apps like Tinder.
Created by three married Lebanese friends in , the app asks its users image-based personality questions developed by psychologists, and creates a personality profile. Uploading personal profile pictures is optional. The app then makes match suggestions to its users based on the way they answered the personality questions and assign them a compatibility percentage.
One of its perks is the emphasis on privacy – its users are not pressured to add photos or share identifying details.
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Background: Middle East
In some Middle Eastern countries dating sites are blocked. What’s your response to that? Before I built this app I spoke to very trusted religious.
But Salaam Swipe has a crucial difference, in that it is aimed specifically at Muslims looking for love and marriage. It was created by Khalil Jessa, 26, who was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada. Jessa — who studied Middle Eastern Studies and Political Science and previously worked in Canadian politics — said he launched the app because of the difficulty people had in meeting like-minded Muslims in his own community. It is available to download for free from the Apple App Store in the Middle East, with an official launch in this region in the pipeline over the next year, along with an Arabic-language version.
Why do Muslims need their own matchmaking app? We have a lot of gender segregation; we have the Bangladeshi community, the Pakistani community, all the different Arab communities, the Iranian community. There are divisions on sectarian lines — Sunni and Shia. So what I wanted to do was make it easier for young Muslims to be able to meet, to interact, and to find someone to marry. And is this app intended for people looking to marry — or just for sex or a casual fling? Users can be flagged by other users, if they act inappropriately, or if they are spamming people.
So is it a Muslim Tinder? The thing that we have [in common] with Tinder is the swiping. You swipe left or you swipe right, and you match, you talk. But we have a lot more beyond that that really takes into account some nuances of our community.