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المحرر موضوع: Saudi holds first conference for matchmakers  (زيارة 1350 مرات)

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Saudi holds first conference for matchmakers
« في: يوم 01-10-2010 , س 02:05:04 am »
In an attempt to legalizie the profession
Saudi holds first conference for matchmakers



Hundreds of matchmakers in Saudi Arabia are closely following the first conference of its kind to focus on legalizing the profession in the kingdom and offering academic training for those who choose to practice it.

The conference entitled “Matchmakers in the Saudi Society” kicked off Tuesday to discuss the creation of a wide base of male and female matchmakers that work in accordance with both religion and law.

The rise of spinsterhood in Saudi was among the main reasons behind holding the matchmakers conference, said Mohammed al-Abd al-Qader, secretary general of the Weaam Association for marriage services, which is located in the Eastern Province.

“Matchmakers play an important role in reducing the rates of spinsterhood in the kingdom,” he said in a press conference. “According to the latest statistics, there are a million and a half spinsters and there are warnings that the number could rise to four million if solutions are not found.”

The conference, Qader added, was held to discuss taking the profession of matchmaking to a different level through granting it official recognition and setting rules to ensure the matchmaking process is in line with the Quran and Sunna (Prophet Mohammed's teachings) as well as the traditions of the Saudi society.

“The conference also looks into the type of courses matchmakers should take in order to do their job efficiently.”

The conference will also discuss the possibility of introducing a new diploma that has to be obtained by all men and women who want to work as matchmakers and of drafting a matchmaking guide under the supervision of marriage services associations. A code of ethics for the profession of matchmaking is also to be created.

The way matchmaking changed traditional marriage arrangements in the Saudi society and the need for addressing this change is among the topics discussed in the conference sessions.

The matchmaking business
Matchmaking has lately become extremely popular in Saudi Arabia as marriage rates started dropping, yet the way this practice turned into a lucrative business that got out of hand necessitated an official regulation of the profession.

Matchmakers are usually Saudi citizens or foreigners commonly called marriage “mediators” or “sheikhs” and they usually earn hundreds of thousands monthly.

According to a report published in the Saudi magazine Laha under the title “The Marriage Market in Saudi,” a matchmaker is paid 4,000 Saudi riyals ($1,066) when tying the knot of two ordinary people and the fees could reach up to 100,000 Saudi riyals ($26,664) if one of the two is a public figure.

The report, which described the flourishing matchmaking business as an “open marriage market,” added that absence of a government body that monitors marriage arrangements turned a socially benevolent activity into a trade.

“The way matchmaking is handled by those people could damage social relations and the entire institution of marriage,” said the report.

The increasing numbers of unmarried girls, the report added, leads many to fall victim to matchmakers who are only after profit.

“Even educated and working girls like doctors, teachers, and engineers can be deceived and several of them agree to secret marriages.”

via : alarabiya.net