A blind date in Egypt has taken a new meaning as the country’s tourism industry is expanding with a new category of date.
Key points:Egypt’s tourism boom has seen tourists from around the world flock to EgyptThe date has a “unique” feel with the date of birth being the only part of the person’s face that can be photographedThe date is now widely used in the country, with many people opting to have their photo taken instead of signing their nameThe blind date, which is a more romantic form of dating, involves a blind date’s date having to wear a mask to conceal the part of their face they are wearing.
The date involves a “blind date” with the mask covering their face, but no identity.
“The date of the blind date has an interesting and unique feel with no identity of the date and only their face can be seen,” Tourism Minister Mohamed Aboul-Gheit said.
The date was first introduced in Egypt last year and has since spread to other parts of the country.
The Blind Date was invented by Dr Ayoub Sadeq, who first suggested it in the mid-1990s but said it was popularised by the internet in 2011.
“It has become popular in the past few years because it is a beautiful and simple concept and people are willing to put their own personality on the date,” he said.
“People have started to accept it and they want to have a date that is not based on any social norms, because it has been a way to express themselves.”
Dr Sadequq said it allowed people to go for dates they would not otherwise have been able to do, like a date at a zoo or a wedding.
“The blind person’s date is not just a date, it is also a way of expressing oneself,” he added.
Dr Ayoubi Sadeeq said the idea of a date had become “the new trend”.
“People are saying to each other, ‘Hey, we’re not going to do it at home, we don’t want to wear the mask’,” he said, adding that many people were also having “slim dates” where the date involved only the face.
In Egypt, the date was introduced to a new audience in a 2015 video uploaded by the popular website Mumbrella.
Mr Aboul – who is also the minister for tourism – said he hoped the popularity of the event would eventually lead to “the creation of a national date”.
“It is something that is a way for people to express their individuality,” he told The New Daily.
According to the International Association of Blind Date and Date of Birth Professionals, the blind-date trend is not confined to Egypt.
Egypt has the second-highest number of date weddings in the world, with more than 200,000 weddings in 2017, according to the Association for the Blind Professionals of Egypt.
“There are also people who date on a date and do not wear a face mask because it’s a bit of a taboo,” Dr Sadeqi said.
He said people often used to date as a form of social isolation and that the new event was “an easy way to do this”.
“They just say, ‘I’m not going, I’m not doing this’,” he explained.
“[But] now people can do it and get married at home.”
He said the blind people were more accepting of this new way of dating.
“They say, `I’m okay, it’s not like this’,” Dr Saseqi said, before adding that the “blind” part of being a date was now an important part of a relationship.
For more information on the blind dating scene in Egypt, visit www.tourism.com