When it comes to finding "The One," Arabs have a number of tips and tricks; some have been passed along across generations, while others have emerged as of late. We can't say our methods are foolproof, but they sure do come in handy when the infinite 3a2balkon (may you get married next) wishes kick in.
How does an Arab meet thee? Let me count the ways:
1. Arab weddings: The ultimate matchmaking site
It's where every eligible bachelor - or more accurately, his mother - thoroughly probes the attendees to find the most beautiful bint 'ayle (from a decent family) ... because where's a better place to meet the love of your life than in your most unnatural habitat, while you're dressed up to the nines?
2. Family ... enough said
Perhaps it's the paranoia, the oh-so-tight family bonds, or a combination of all factors at once, but many Arabs seem to push their kids towards finding a partner from within the family.
The pool of potential spouses is not restricted to distant relatives, but can even include first cousins - though, to be fair, this practice has become less frequent over the years.
Hot relative making the big bucks in Africa? Sign me up!
3. You're always one "day3a" trip away from meeting your future spouse
You don't want to marry a relative? Okay then, at least choose someone from the day3a (village).
Every eligible bachelor(ette) is on high alert in the day3a, which seems like the perfect place to mingle with people from similar backgrounds - AKA ones you can find out more about with minimal hassle.
4. The designated matchmaker
Ah, the Arab matchmaker... there's one in every family, neighborhood, village, etc.
Usually a middle-aged auntie, the matchmaker looks out for the single lads and gals out there and goes above and beyond to find them partners, whether or not they are looking for ones. Armed with impeccable PR skills, she has a mental database of all the single people in her jurisdiction and extensive background information on every one of them.
5. The 3aroos-hunting mama
From casual lunches to parties and weddings, and even funerals, no occasion is safe from the wife-hunting mama.
She creeps up on the prettiest young women in the event to ask them"inti bint meen?" (whose daughter are you?) and boast about her son. The latter? Always a handsome doctor (read: "daktor") living abroad.
Once she identifies her subject, she tells her son about her and the latter ends up sending a cringy Facebook message at 3 a.m.
6. The modern take on arranged marriages
We've already established that Arab communities take marriage a tad too seriously, so much so that they will leave no stone unturned when it comes to helping the people around them find partners.
The age-old method of arranged marriages is one way to do so. While we can't ignore the history of sexism and misogyny traditionally associated with arranged marriages, many people would argue this isn't always the case, especially during modern times.
Despite the many stereotypes and inaccuracies surrounding the topic, some people genuinely want to get married and don't mind if their family hooks them up with someone they know. After going on an Arab parent-approved version of a blind date, the couple gets to know each other before deciding to commit.
7. Finally, once every full moon, the notorious "momken net3arraf" message proves successful
Nothing screams audacity (and low-key sexual harassment) like Arab men sliding into a woman's direct messages. But, apparently, some men have successfully maneuvered their way from the creepy zone to the husband-material zone.