E-matchmaking is the latest profession for marriages

Updated 12 August 2013
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E-matchmaking is the latest profession for marriages

Khattaba is the Arabic word for a woman marriage match-maker whose job is to bring two people together who want to get married. She is the link between those two people, starting with introductions with the intent of reaching a final agreement.
Prospective grooms are largely responsible for paying for the service. And like most professionals, Khattabas can be sought through social networking websites.
Umm Mohammad is a popular marriage match-maker who has gained the confidence of many prospective brides and groom.
“Because we live in a conservative society, it doesn’t mean we don’t understand the requirements of our young people,” Mohammad said. “And that’s why I have entered this profession.
She said she approaches each potential couple with marriage applications to be filled out. If there is a potential match, the two individuals are introduced to each other and they decide on the marriage. At this point families of the bride and groom get involved.
Mohammad said she opened a Facebook account to further her profession.
“In reality, I can hardly switch on the computer and I was fearful at first when my daughter suggested this it,” she said. “My daughter started to teach me the basics of my account on Facebook, and it’s been three years since I have been dealing with this technology under her supervision.”
She added: “There is less pressure because I don’t need to go outside of the house as it was before and I receive everything on e-mail.”
She said she receives the personal data of the parties wishing for a spouse.
“I don’t think using such social media networking requires a great deal of effort or in being clever to get as much friends and followers as possible,” she said.
Mohammad noted that through social media Through platforms, professional matchmakers are “building a virtual self where messages can be received from both parties specifying exact information about them and what they are looking for in an ideal marriage partner.”
Sa’dah Al-Bashri, a traditional matchmaker, refuses to enter the virtual world. She said it will cause people to lose confidence in the profession and its practitioners. It also will lead to reduced fees for matchmakers.
“Our reputation and contacts are our investment,” Al-Bashri said. “Not all website users are perfect clients. It is better to go directly to the parents of young men and women. If young people are serious about a commitment they wouldn’t use these websites.”
Traditional matchmaking is much easier because enables the matchmaker to describe prospective brides or grooms in detail, which gives the process credibility.
“E-matchmaking is harming the reputation of our profession, and we lost many clients who joined these websites,” Al-Bashri said.
Fees depend on marriages and the social standing of the couple. But the cost to the prospective groom not less than SR 500 as a starting price.
Al-Bashri said websites are not safe, and she prefers the traditional way because it is much more confidential.
Al Anood, member of a Facebook group, doesn’t see any harm in dealing with matchmakers, whether they are traditional or modern, as long as they maintain privacy.
Matchmakers help young men, even though many people reject them. One of her relatives had an unsuccessful experience with e-matchmaking, but there are many successful marriages, she said.
The important thing is to know the suitable matchmaker and the realistic and reasonable qualities of one’s partner.


King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology unveils self-guided Black Shark boat at 38th GITEX Technology Week

The development of the Black Shark smart boat is part of a KACST initiative to localize and transform transport technology and logistics, to help achieve the aims of Vision 2030. (SPA)
Updated 20 October 2018
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King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology unveils self-guided Black Shark boat at 38th GITEX Technology Week

  • These trucks are equipped with electronic pairing technologies, which effectively improve the shipping and distributing of goods, reduce human error

JEDDAH: King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) has unveiled its Black Shark self-guided boat at the 38th GITEX Technology Week in Dubai. The vessel, which can carry out coastal surveillance and many other tasks, was developed in collaboration with Taqnia for Robotics and Smart Systems.
The development of the craft is part of a KACST initiative to localize and transform transport technology and logistics, to help achieve the aims of Vision of 2030.
The boat includes sensor systems that allow it to monitor and create a 3D map of a 200-meter area surrounding the boat, and automated control technology that gives it the ability to navigate independently and avoid collisions without human input. It can also be equipped with a flexible range of weapons, acting as a firearms platform that uses gyroscopic self-balancing technology. It has the ability to survey beaches at a range of 15 kilometers, in addition to accurately identifying its precise location with a margin of error of less than 20 centimeters using differential GPS, as well as specifying, monitoring and tracking targets.
The Black Shark also has long-range radar that covers up to 150 kilometers, and a telecommunication system to track its location, monitor its status and connect to multiple domains through command centers that allow wireless communication and remote control. It is fitted with a digital camera powered by electro-optic and infrared technology that can produce HD-quality video, and also has night vision capability.
As part of its initiative to develop transport technology and logistics, KACST has also worked on automated control technology, included self-driving heavy-duty trucks, with the University of California, Berkeley. These trucks are equipped with electronic pairing technologies, which effectively improve the shipping and distributing of goods, reduce human error, preserve resources, and reduce harmful emissions and fuel consumption.
The same technology can also, for example, transform a four-wheel-drive vehicle into a remote-controlled vehicle equipped with video cameras, infrared technology, a microphone and a control device wirelessly connected to a command center, where an operator can guide it using images from the video cameras.