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Tinder parent company Match Group acquires Egypt’s Harmonica

Imagine meeting someone on a gay dating app like Grindr or Scruff. You exchange small talk and sexy photos for a couple days before asking him on a date. He suggests a nearby, popular cafe, but when you arrive, police officers swoop in and arrest you. As it turns out, your beau was an undercover officer; you’re told that you’re being charged with “debauchery,” and your conversations and photos will be used as evidence against you in trial.

You could end up spending six months to six years in jail, where you may be subject to torture. This isn’t some Orwellian hypothetical; it’s a serious reality for queer people in Egypt, and one that seems to be getting worse.

Tinder-ing in Egypt: Love and Sex in the Digital Age. Dating for affluent Egyptian millenials has fundamentally changed. Ramy Kandil goes in-.

D ating apps have not only democratised love and sex; they have globalised them too. Not for the growing LGBT communities in non-western countries, where homosexuality is either still illegal or a social taboo; where life-threatening attacks, extortion or jail sentences are a clear and present danger for those who use apps that in the West were originally designed simply to create a safe virtual space for finding same-sex love. Perhaps the most significant example came in Egypt in Over 75 people were arrested following a concert in Cairo at which rainbow flags were waved.

According to the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, many of the 75 were targeted through dating apps. These new technologies are being used for new crackdowns. In the decade before the dating apps, and before President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi came to power in , an average of 14 people a year were arrested in Egypt effectively for their sexuality.

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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.

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CAIRO — 12 February The lighting is romantic, the scenery is beautiful and the soft music playing in the background set the mood for what had seemed to be a great date. You evening has gone to waste; it is ruined. This scenario is feared by so many single men and women out there. Instead, we try to vet people who we will go out with; we try to ask as many questions before seeing them, but doing so makes you seem desperate and often is a turn-off.

This led people to online dating; it is a safe way of getting to know people and vetting them. But the reality of the matter is: People lie. How can you make sure that you are not being cat fished or scammed or lied to? That became the million-dollar question. As a result, daters resorted to heading to LinkedIn to meet people. But why LinkedIn? A study by Incapsula found that bots account for 61 percent of all Web traffic generated, and many of those are active on dating websites and applications.

This makes it easier for bots to act like humans and makes it more difficult for human being to recognize that a robot is talking to them.

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The users answer 30 questions and the app, using algorithms, matches people of compatible interest. Not long ago, matchmaking was a noble and much needed profession. The new generation watched matchmakers in black and white movies filmed during the first half of the last century and, to a large extent, in its second half as well. Closest to families than some relatives, they knew the secrets of the girls and their flaws. Like bees, matchmakers buzzed from house to house, their wallets loaded with photos of young women like decks of cards.

Amid an anti-gay crackdown in Egypt since a rainbow flag was hoisted at a Cairo concert, gay dating apps are sending users tips on how to protect themselves.

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from. To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. Firas knew something was wrong when he saw the checkpoint. They had met online, part of a growing community of gay Egyptians using services like Grindr, Hornet, and Growler, but this was their first time meeting in person.

The man had been aggressive, explicitly asking Firas to bring condoms for the night ahead. When the day came to meet, he was late — so late that Firas almost called the whole thing off. At the last minute, his date pulled up in a car and offered to take Firas directly to his apartment. A few blocks into the ride, Firas saw the checkpoint, a rare occurrence in a quiet, residential area like Mesaha.

Firas opened the door and ran.

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This website uses cookies, for statistical data only. You can deactivate these cookies. Find out more. Like their European counterparts, Middle Easterns have been subjected to a strict confinement.

In October, he launched the fruit of his labours: Harmonica, Egypt’s first mobile-​dating application. Hot on the heels of global dating apps like.

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Mobile gadgets have simplified our lives as much as possible: now, with just a little finger, you can not only call a taxi of the color you want and rent a villa on the other side of the world but even arrange a personal life. Wondering how? The list below will tell you about all these intricacies.

Gay Dating Apps Are Protecting Users Amid Egypt’s LGBTQ Crackdown. Grindr, Hornet, and Scruff are fighting back against police persecution.

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Cairo-based matchmaking app Harmonica announced that it has rebranded itself as Hawaya. A post shared by WAYA waya. It represents the joining of two beings through marriage, who together become a much stronger force. If you see something out of place or would like to contribute to this story, check out our Ethics and Policy section. Apps have made life much easier, and now that convenience extends to pets, too. Read More.

Founded in , the startup allows users to shop for cars with its Seez App, which offers a smart search engine for car listings and proprietary, AI-powered pricing and Hussam Hammo, Eyad Al The round was led by European parcel delivery giant DPDgroup. Egyptian fintech company Fawry also participated in the round The UN issued a report listing companies doing business with Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories.

Airbnb is According to El Borsa, the startup will use the investment to Matchmaking applications have been booming globally in the last few years, and the MENA region is no exception.

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Dating is difficult; even more so when you live in an Arab country. But gender inequality is just one part of the problem. Enter Tinder, the application that transformed the dating scene across the region, not to mention, dramatically for those who are from marginalised communities. Like, why are you on Tinder?

This blogger claims Tinder is “popular” there. Searching OKCupid for users within 25 miles of. Continue Reading.

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. By asking new users twenty-seven questions about their lifestyle and personality, the mobile app helps them build a profile based on more than the superficial qualities that image-focused online dating services often highlight.

Matchmallows’ innovative approach to Internet dating earned the technology company a number of plaudits in the Western world. A number of potential Matchmallows competitors hope to capitalise on this mentality. Salaam Swipe caters to a Muslim target audience, allowing users to identify as conservative, moderate or liberal, and Shia, Sunni or non-denominational on their profiles as they search for love as well as marriage.

Every business cycle seems to bring another round of mobile apps dedicated to Internet dating in the Middle East. Many of these online dating services market themselves to Arabs and Muslims in particular. Several offer user interfaces in Modern Standard Arabic, Dardashti foremost among them, though the number of Middle Easterners who want to flirt in the stilted language of Islamic texts and parliamentary speeches remains a mystery.

Another mobile app, Wango, has replicated Bumble’s model by accounting for the unique challenges faced by women in online dating. Online dating services hidden away on a mobile app or website afford youth a level of discretion rarely found when searching for love in daily life, providing young women in particular with far more autonomy and privacy. Even Middle Eastern countries resistant to Western-style romance have made room for Internet dating, suggesting a promising future for mobile apps in this line of business.

Tinder managed to export online matchmaking to Saudi Arabia as youth in the kingdom use the mobile app to plan dates as well as more casual encounters amid the country’s recent cultural liberalisation.

NewStatesman

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In Egypt, there are different ideologies and types of dating apps. There are apps and/or websites that are implicitly developed for sexual hookups.

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