When online matchmaker et3arraf closed its second round of funding this week, CEO Cedric Maalouf was ecstatic.The Arab “marriage-oriented” dating website attracted attention from angel investors and venture capital firms, and received term sheets from investors who weren’t even pitched.“ He and Nimer met at a tech mixer, and agreed that marriage websites were an untapped market in the Arab world.“There is a cultural constraint between genders [in the region],” Maalouf says. 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 should find a wife.” Conceived as something similar to Ok Cupid or e Harmony, the cofounders say et3arraf uniquely preserves “the cultural constraint” for conservative Arabs, while giving users the chance to interact and meet more like-minded matches.Mitat dreamed of a career as a fashion designer, and saw a British husband as a way out of her drab existence in the Moroccan town of Oujda, near the Algerian border.Months after their first online encounter, Khalil traveled to Morocco with a woman he said was his sister.
I told Michael I wanted to interview his scammer friends. But I figured I'd be doing a public service by distracting the scammers from conning old folks for a couple hours.
It’s a recipe they say results in more successful marriages.
Promoting successful marriages might sound lofty, but in conservative countries like Egypt or Saudi Arabia, young singles are challenged to find a mate.
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Islam and Ahmed met online, looking for their “happily ever after” through a Muslim dating site.