Matchmakers and On-Line Dating
In ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia, where the sexes are strictly segregated, traditional matchmakers face tough competition from blossoming marriage services on online social networks.
More than 200 Twitter users and dozens of other forums on the internet offer services for Saudi men and women seeking spouses, angering matchmakers like Um Sami who sees it as “organised prostitution.”
“Social networks undermine our work and everything they offer is virtual: they use nicknames and they are not reliable,” said Um Sami, an elderly woman and well-established matchmaker from the Red Sea city of Jeddah...
“Marriage via online platforms is one hundred per cent doomed to failure,” she said, stressing that only her traditional matchmaking method can lead to a successful marriage...
But younger people still prefer social networks as a tool to tie the knot “because they are an easy way to get to know each other,” said sociologist Abu Bakr Baqdar.
“In the past, people got to know one another through families and neighbours,” he said. Young people are now looking for “less traditional means to meet away from their families’ interference.”
Labels: Saudi Arabia