Cairo, Egypt – When one graduate of Egypt’s prestigious American University of Cairo (AUC) recently became engaged, she told her parents in southern Egypt that she met her fiancée through mutual friends.
The truth: they met after both swiping right on a dating app.
In 2014 Egypt’s top Islamic authority issued a religious ruling prohibiting the use of online dating.
At the same, the situation varies by class, according to Anthropology Professor Farha Ghannam at Swarthmore University.
Nehal, 31, a graduate from a public Egyptian university, who used only her first name for privacy reasons.
was frustrated that she wanted to date but hadn’t found anyone through her social and family circles, as is most common in Egypt.
So she turned to ICQ chat rooms, which she had first used for non-dating purposes as a teenager abroad, and then migrated to Ok Cupid and Tinder.
Nehal was veiled when she started online dating, though no longer is, and has a curfew, as many unmarried Egyptian women living with family do (unlike males).