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“ 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.
With a small marketing budget, the site soft-launched on Valentines Day 2013 with a goal to win 15,000 registered users. Without any advertising since April, et3arraf’s user-base has grown to 56,000.
It is most popular in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, followed by Jordan and Morocco.
It’s a recipe they say results in more successful marriages.
Instead his site deals with, “the real problems that they are having-—liberalism, conservatism, religion, responsibility in the couple, kids.” The quiz uses psychology to determine suitable matches based on questions about social attributes, individual attributes, couple attributes, and personal attributes, as opposed to the kind of person users might think they want.“Most people want to meet someone not only of the same religion, but of the same denomination of their religion.” Et3arraf was developed during Lebanese accelerator Seeqnce’s first and only acceleration program.“The first couple of months at Seeqnce was just pure 16-hour work days minimum, coding, coding, coding, just churning out code,” recalls Nimer.Eighty-four percent of users say they have met at least one person through the platform.Based on an “affinity matchmaking quiz,” et3arraf recommends up to 40 matches, 10 of whom are active on the site at the same time and 30 of whom are considered to be the most compatible.