Somalis search for love online

MOGADISHU. – The makers of Guurdoon, the first app for singles in Somalia, are hoping to help their fellow citizens find love in a nation with no shortage of challenges.

Just don’t call it a dating app.

Guurdoon (“seeking marriage” in English) was launched in October last year by the Guryosamo family development centre, whose chairman Ahmed Abshir Geedi sees the app as a salve for some of the troubles facing the country since its 1991 descent into chaos.

“Everything society required collapsed, including the family which is the backbone of society,” the 37-year-old told AFP, describing the decades since a civil war tore Somalia apart and set the stage for an ongoing jihadist insurgency.

Guurdoon, he says, is not a dating app, but a marriage platform based on Islamic values and traditions in the predominantly Muslim country.

Geedi and his colleagues initially sought to focus their efforts on helping families pay for weddings, but soon realised that the compatibility issues troubling couples could not be solved with money. The idea for the app emerged during discussions with religious leaders and community elders.

“We have learned about the need for facilitating a platform where people of all ages can meet and find each other as partners since our youth are mainly on social media these days,” Geedi said.

The app, which is free to download on Android and iPhone models, requires subscribers to pay a US$1 fee before they can start using it.

Tens of thousands of people, including Somalis living overseas, have already signed up, Geedi said, with the surge of interest forcing the app’s servers to crash in the early days.

Users are asked to provide details about themselves to narrow down the search for a suitable partner. –


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