Nimer needs more data to prove it, but says interactions between men and women on the site often seem to mimic real life in the Middle East.
“Men will take the initiative of sending messages for many women, while a woman will be waiting for messages to answer,” says Maalouf.
Inspired by e Harmony and Match.com, but frustrated by the questions those sites ask users, Maalouf and Nimer worked with a Lebanese psychologist to create a personality quiz tailored to Arab cultural concerns.
“[Non-Arab sites] ask you questions like, ‘What do you prefer on a woman’s body: her eyes or her boobs or her ass?
“Most people want to meet someone not only of the same religion, but of the same denomination of their religion.” Et3arraf was developed during Lebanese accelerator Seeqnce’s first and only acceleration program.
“The first couple of months at Seeqnce was just pure 16-hour work days minimum, coding, coding, coding, just churning out code,” recalls Nimer.
“We use the psychology behind your answers to figure out what the best match for you really is,” says Maalouf. “Unfortunately in the region, religion is very important.
We know couples in Lebanon that were in love and weren’t able to get married because of religious differences.
’ This is the kind of question you cannot ask of an Arabic audience,” insists Maalouf.
Instead his site deals with, “the real problems that they are having-—liberalism, conservatism, religion, responsibility in the couple, kids.” The quiz uses psychology to determine suitable matches based on questions about social attributes, individual attributes, couple attributes, and personal attributes, as opposed to the kind of person users might think they want.