Muslim matchmaking app arrives in Malaysia to connect Muslim men and women to find long-lasting love
KUALA LUMPUR, 2 NOVEMBER 2020 – “You had me at hello”. “You complete me.” From romantic comedies to real-life scenarios, these are common expressions people share when one is in love. Hollywood has personified romance for millions of people around the world, and whether one is a hopeless romantic or a pragmatic partner, the poignant love stories are stirring up feelings of love and being swept off your feet.
Malaysians are no stranger to one-of-a-kind stories of romance. There were stories of a man putting up posters around his neighborhood to advertise for a wife, or online resumes posted up on Twitter accounts. However, instead of looking for a job, the resumes were about their ‘applications’ to find their true love and a partner to share the ‘happily ever after’ moments. Moreover, a study in 2017 revealed that every 3 out of 10 Malaysians are actively on or have used online dating apps. The study also pointed out that 29% of Malaysians would rather find their future partners on the web through mobile applications. This indicates that Malaysians are ready to embrace technology to find their soulmate.
There is no denying that everyone loves a good love story. This inspires Hawaya, the Muslim matchmaking app from Egypt to be born. After all, Hawaya is inspired by the word “Hawa”, which translates to “Love” in Arabic. Hawaya is the matchmaking app founded by Sameh Saleh in 2017, as a way of helping his sister to have a pleasant, comfortable, and safe journey towards marriage. As a matchmaking platform, Hawaya aims to empower single Muslims to build meaningful connections with one another and #carijodohwithHawaya, in a way that is respectful to Islamic traditions and culture.
“We are excited to bring Hawaya to the Muslim community in Malaysia. Establishing a lifelong relationship is hard work and requires a strong commitment. We understand the challenges that Muslim men and women are facing when it comes to approaching relationships, and we are serious about fulfilling this need to help people find ‘the one’. From the moment of discovery to nurturing that connection that leads to a relationship that lasts a lifetime, Hawaya assures that the platform is safe to use, with respect and adherence to culture and traditions,” said Sameh Saleh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hawaya.
Hawaya uses technology and a scientific-approach to carefully curate a culturally-acceptable solution to matchmaking. Users who are logging in to Hawaya are required to answer a series of questionnaires about their education or line of work, as well as personal preferences such as hobbies and interests.
The app also makes user safety and security its priority. Each profile will need to be authenticated via a ‘selfie verification’ process to filter out fake profiles. Additionally, for security measures, users can activate a feature called ‘Guardian’, involving a trusted family member or friend, as part of the conversation with another user in the app.
Other features of the Hawaya platform include:
- ‘Blur Option’: Female users have the option to selectively reveal their pictures only to those they are comfortable connecting with.
- ‘Exclusive Mode’: Once two users are matched, they will be able to opt for an exclusive chat which disables other ongoing conversations with other users in the app. Through ‘exclusive mode’, users will have the opportunity to focus on getting to know and engaging in deeper conversations with one person at a time.
- True to the process of making genuine and honest connections, Hawaya also assists to provide ice-breaker topics and personalised conversation starters for users to take that first step to communicate.
In the Muslim culture in Malaysia, family and societal pressures to settle down can be a hard pill to swallow. Often during functions or gathering, there will be whispers from family or friends to ask about one’s marital or ‘jodoh’ status. A woman can go as far as to be labelled a spinster if she is still unmarried by the age of 30.
In order to assist both women and men in finding the right life partner, Hawaya will be developing a series of initiatives called the #sistersinhearts programme. The aim is to facilitate discussions about dating and making a connection with that special someone in this modern world while keeping to traditional values.
“It is embedded in the Muslim culture and community, that as soon as you reach the right age, there is a great emphasis placed by family and those around you about ‘planting your roots’ and start a family. The first step in settling down, however, is about finding the right partner to be with on your journey to forever. Hawaya wants to help facilitate and bring together a pool of like-minded individuals, aligned in culture and values, to communicate freely in a secure environment using our platform,” added Sameh.
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