- Can halal speed-dating work?
- Want to better understand Islam? Speed date a Muslim | SBS Life
- Your faith is important to us
When we arrived, I signed an ominous waiver promising not to ask for a refund no matter the outcome of the event. One by one, the other participants piled in. They were all women.
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I was also the only one dressed in a traditional Pakistani shalwar kameez— the invitation suggested business attire, but my mother insisted, and I deferred to her superior knowledge of arranged-marriage etiquette. No one else had brought their parents along. Over the next 90 minutes, the guys trickled in. More than half of the men were old. While I respect the need to find companionship at any stage of life, the gender and age imbalance of the event meant that there would be no groupings by age—everyone would talk to everyone. Some of the women were ready to riot.
I now understood why the event required a waiver. I sat in my traditional clothes and looked up at my parents, my face burning red with embarrassment. Not only was I speed dating, I looked like the weirdest person there. The crowd let out a collective groan. We did not want our faces shown on camera.
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The crew spent the rest of the time videotaping our backs. I pouted at my mom across the room. In Islam, dating is a bad word. Currently this means subscribing to sites like SingleMuslim. I reject guys who are too overweight or short or boring.
Can halal speed-dating work?
Going to public school made gender segregation difficult to enforce. Working with a boy on a school project always required an explanation. If a male voice ever called the house, my parents would pick up the phone in the middle of the conversation I could hear the click. When I came home, my dad told me he had followed me in his car. I was furious, but my parents were right to be suspicious.
I liked boys a lot, and boys liked me. I was a rebellious teenager in the most brown way possible—a straight-A student, alcohol- and drug-free, enrolled in a million extracurriculars. Back in the chairs, it was clear to me that many of the men and women in attendance had not gotten out much.
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Not all the women were sparkling conversationalists, either. A businesswoman sitting next to me interrogated each and every male with the same battery of questions: Are you ready to get married in the next year? What qualities do you find attractive and unattractive? In our quest to resist temptation and remain pious, our community has left its youth confused and unsure about how to approach the opposite sex.
Our parents and religious leaders have set the boundaries but have failed to give us any practical guidance on how to follow them. When we are finally let out on a short leash to begin finding spouses, the pressure can be too much to handle. Then I met Amir. He was one of the few good-looking dudes at the event, and I knew all eyes were on him.
Want to better understand Islam? Speed date a Muslim | SBS Life
Tall, lean, and sporting a soul patch I would have to remove later, Amir worked for the government and lived in the D. Our families both came from the same city in Pakistan. We bantered easily, exchanging printouts of our quick bios to scan and search for conversational topics. We both enjoyed arts and culture, and we loved city life. Our five minutes ended too quickly, but Amir promised to catch up during the post-event dinner.
Later, we chatted and exchanged contact information. He met my mom. Arranged marriages, strictly-controlled family introductions and chaperones are familiar territory for some young Muslims. But all that could be about to change. A new approach to dating has been launched by a couple of young Asian entrepreneurs who set out to introduce young professional Muslims to more prospective partners in one evening than they may meet in a lifetime. The year-old Cambridge graduate decided to set up the company with friend Maha Khan after realising how popular speed dating had become since its introduction to this country three years ago.
From now on Muslims will have a refreshing, fun alternative, where the single people themselves take charge. Speed dating was originally established in the US by Jews as a way of keeping marriage within their community. Speed dating involves 20 to 30 mini-meetings, which last about three minutes each. The host seats the participants at numbered tables and after a whirlwind conversation, each man moves on to the next table.
Your faith is important to us
People who indicate on special memo cards that they would like to see each other again are given each other's email addresses within 48 hours. It is then up to them whether they want to make contact and take things further. Psychology experts say speed dating is so successful because most people make up their minds whether they like someone within the first 15 to 30 seconds of meeting them.
I don't think I have fallen head over heels, but there were a few guys I wouldn't mind meeting again. Reena Mithani, 25, a City stockbroker, said: Many are just like me and I have got my eye on three guys already. Friday, Jan 18th 5-Day Forecast. Share or comment on this article: Most watched News videos Marine One lands and blows snow over photojournalists Military couple's emotional surprise reunion caught on camera Heartwarming moment baby hears sister's voice for the first time Yellow Vest protestor bleeds after being shot in head by police Jillian Michaels addresses Al Roker over keto diet fight Teen thanks Canada and Thailand for helping her flee Saudi Arabia Gas station worker killed by driver stealing gas during hit-and-run White man punches year-old black girl in altercation outside mall Indigenous Today show host says she won't be celebrating Aus Day Kate Middleton arrives at Royal Opera House in purple dress Michael Gove accuses Vince Cable behaving like Vicky Pollard Brit 'gypsy' family cover park in rubbish before threatening locals.
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