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).
And while in Egypt Tinder profiles advertising shirtless men with cars, police and military officers, and older men with rings on their fingers are standard, cases of swipes to the right turning to marriage remain rare.
“I get very angry because you’d swipe through and you’d see all these shirtless guys with their guns and cars,” said a 27-year-old Egyptian lawyer.
“I wasn’t really sure what I was trying to find on Tinder,” the twenty-five-year old said, requesting anonymity because her parents, who do not live in Cairo, do not know.
“But whatever it was I didn’t find it.” In Cairo, where about one-eighth of Egypt’s 90 million people live, conditions are relatively freer relationship-wise than in other parts of the country.
For the now-engaged AUC graduate, her foray into Tinder began in 2015, when she and two other AUC friends started using tinder together as “a support group” when they were bored.“I am not pro this [dating apps and websites] if it’s not about serious commitment to marriage,” the well-known Egyptian sexologist and TV show host Heba Kotb, who is popular for her conservative, though sometimes controversial, opinions on sex and religion, told Vocativ.Kotb, who is also a Professor of Psychology at American University of Cairo, is rare in Egypt for her TV show that openly answers viewers questions on sex, including her views that homosexuality and masturbation are wrong.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.