A dating App – Harmonica is going to be very popular among Egyptian people. This App meets the specific needs of Arab users — and gives people more than an hour to decide their future.
Since its launched in 2017, during the founders’ stint at the Cairo start-up incubator Flat6Labs, it has become one of Egypt’s most popular dating Apps, with hundreds of thousands of Google App store downloads.
One can know the relevance of this App with the experience of many people who shared their experiences. Heba Arafa, 23, a graduate student in public administration at Benha University in Egypt uses Harmonica as part of her research on local start-ups. She believes it Appeals to a younger, internet-literate generation who are “more eager to try different, new ways to find their partners”.
Many people, especially women, are afraid to admit they’re dating informally for fear of social judgement, so more general social Apps like Facebook also become a kind of incognito dating service. But because Harmonica is marriage-oriented, Arafa says, it provides a channel through which women can involve their parents and be more open about their activities. Its features also make her feel safer. “We can’t take a screenshot so I feel safe that no one would use my picture in a bad way,” Arafa says.
But obtaining more widespread acceptance may be a slow process. Ahmed Magdy, a 33-year-old banker, dipped a toe in Harmonica’s online dating pool, but after a year he hadn’t met anyone suitable and he also worried his family would disapprove. “It’s not easy to tell them I’m going to marry someone I met through the internet,” he says. Magdy is now engaged to an old classmate he’s known for years.
And for some, Harmonica has been a success. Safaa Abu Saoud, 33, was a single woman living with her family when she met Wafiq Ahmed, a 34-year-old HR professional whose work hours made it difficult to meet prospective partners. After chatting online for a few weeks, they met in person and got married months later, welcoming their first child in July.
It was a happy outcome for Abu Saoud, who found the traditional matchmaking route “so awkward”. Once she arrived home to find strangers in the living room with her parents. “Which one will marry me?” she remembers asking her sister jokingly.
Hamonica founder Saleh says he could see the stress that traditional matchmaking can cause, but “the Western Apps weren’t fitting our culture … so I felt there should be something we do to help ourselves”. ( Input: bbc.com)