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Saudi matchmakers flourishing on social media

Last month, electronic-matchmakers are seeking to capitalize on the more than 119,000 tweets for marriage, of which 240 asked for misyar.

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There has been a surge in matchmakers on Twitter and other social networking websites who offer their services to the thousands of Saudis who are seeking marriage, Al-Hayat daily reported.

These electronic-matchmakers are seeking to capitalize on the more than 119,000 tweets for marriage, of which 240 asked for misyar (a form of marriage where both the bride and groom give up some of their rights) during the past month.

These matchmakers are targeting young people who seek marriage free from tradition and without any fears of restrictions.

Sociologist Dr. Hani Al-Ghamdi said the role of matchmakers in Saudi society has been badly exploited due to the spread of technology and social networking sites.

He believes that many of the tweets aim to establish relations between the two sexes, something which he said is caused by weak family relations and preventing or delaying women from getting married.

"A number of young matchmakers are exploiting the media for financial gains or to increase followers. Many of them do not know even the basics of the profession they claim to practice," he said while adding that the lack of a social culture is the main reason for the widespread use of social networking websites.

This article was first published in Saudi Gazette on Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014.