Whether you’re Egyptian or not, “Ana 3andey leeky 3arees” is an offer you often get if you are female, single and residing in Egypt. We all know that Gawaz el Salonat has long been part of our Egyptian culture and traditions.
With the rise of feminism over the past few years, the concept became more like a joke with everyone defending women’s rights. With the complications of marriage in Egypt, is the idea of “Gawaz el Salonat” really that bad?


I’m a firm believer that if you’re going to be against an idea, you have to study its pros before its cons. I never gave this topic enough thought until a friend of mine got married the “salonat” way. Seeing how happy she is, I had to give the topic more thought. What is it? Why am I against it? Is it that bad? Here are some questions we ask ourselves about arranged marriages, but never actually answer:

Am I going to get married to someone I don’t know well?

No, you won’t. ‘Gawaz salonat’ doesn’t mean you get engaged right after you meet your potential groom or rush into marriage within 3 months. Give yourself enough time to get to really know him, his friends, his family, and most importantly his mother! In many marriages, whether it’s love or salonat, mothers are the problem. If you two don’t get along, you might as well end it from day one and save yourself the hassle. You should also have enough time to examine him in different situations;  you have no reasons to rush anything.


Is it an arranged marriage or just a set up?

Let’s take a moment to define what “Gawaz Salonat” is. An ‘arranged marriage’ is when the parents plan everything, and the bride has no say in it. A ‘set up’ is when someone introduces two people to each other but they already have initial approval of each other before they meet. So in theory, gawaz el salonat is a “halal” set up.

He’ll judge me based on my looks not my personality.

Yes, he probably will, but realistically, doesn’t everyone? Many of us have been to blind dates which go well or not based on first impressions that are based on looks. Online dating has been a trend for years around the world, and with the rise of Tinder, the new social media website focusing on Online dating, it  has also become popular in Egypt. You check someone’s profile only if they’re good looking. Even if you date someone you know, you still judge them according to their appearance.


How come that in this day and age there’s a guy who doesn’t get to meet girls?

It is kind of weird, but it might have a bright side. What if the man is very devoted to his job and hasn’t had time to meet people? What if he was a frequent traveller? What if he actually knows other girls but never liked any of them? Yes, he might be socially awkward and doesn’t get to meet girls, but it might be for other reasons too. At least we won’t have competition, right?


All that being said, I would still prefer to get married after a long relationship, not salonat, but maybe shutting the door to the whole concept might not be the best idea. You could still fall in love with that person, and you might end up having a great and healthy marriage. Have an open mind about the idea, and maybe ‘the one’ is waiting for you with Tante Sousou.

  • Joman Abbas

    بجد حرام والله
    المفروض ان كده درست الموضوع من وجهة نظر التانية وجبت مبررات واسباب؟؟
    اولا الاهل بمجرد ما الموضوع بيبدأ وهما بيبدأوا الضغط وشد الاعصاب ومحاولات الاقناع المستميتة وياسلااااام لو كان العريس جاهز بتبقي محاولات فظيعة والاسم “احنا مش هنخليكي تعملي حاجة غصب عنك” لكن الحقيقة انهم بيخلوا الواحدة تعمل كده من كتر الضغط اللي بيبقي عليها(لان الزن ع الوادن امر من السحر ودي حقيقة مش مجرد مثل علي فكرة) ولو اتخطبت بيعملوا المستحيل علشان متفسخش وتتحسب عليها خطوبة ده اولا
    ثانيا:طبعا كلنا بيهمنا المظهر ولو قولنا غير كده نبقي كذابين بس مثلا متقنعنيش انك ممكن تعرف شخص ف شهر او اتنين خصوصا لو كانت كل اللي بيظهر منكوا تمثيل بضغط من اللي حواليكوا علشان الموضوع يتم والسلام انما لو اتنين بيحبوا بعض اصلا يقدروا بكل بساطة وسهولة يقولولك ايه مميزات وعيوب كل واحد والحاجة الوحيدة اللي بتخليهم يستمروا في العلاقة انهم عايزين بعض ده طبعا لو كان حب بجد مش لمجرد انه عايزها هي اللي تفسخ علشان شبكته متروحش عليه او اي سبب من الاسباب التانية
    نيجي بقي للنقطة الاهم انه ممكن يكون مش فاضي ومشافش بنات والكلام ده
    دي نظرية غلط تمامااااا الحكاية بتبقي ببساطة ان الولد بيلف ويدور ويعمل اللي علي كيفه ويوم ما يفكر يتجوز يخلي “ماما” تنقيله لانه فاكر ان ماما هتجيبله البنت الشريفة المؤدبة القطة المغمضة اللي يأمنها علي حاله وماله واسمه
    وفي الاول والاخر ده مجرد رأي :/

    • Raghda A. El Sayed

      When I wrote the article I was focusing on the idea itself, not how parents react to it. I completely agree with you on all of this, but that’s not a problem with the idea itself, it’s about how the parents are dealing with their daughter to begin with.
      Everything you said is valid, but maybe it should be in another article. This is how you could benefit from the concept, without parents forcing anyone about anything. If parents force their daughter into any marriage, that’s a bigger problem than “salonat”.

      • Joman Abbas

        بجد ميرسي اولا انك رديتي عليا وانك حسستيني باهمية رأيي وانا اكيد محترمة رأيك وفاهمة كويس قصدك واكيد فعلا لو الاهل مش بيضغطوا علي البنت في اي جوازة ده الصح وده اصلا في حد ذاته ممكن يخلينا علي الاقل نفكر في الفكرة ذات نفسها”جواز الصالونات” وانا فاهمة رأيك كويس بس المشكلة انك مينفعش تناقشي the idea it self without its reasons and factors that affect it والمشكلة ان الاسباب وطريقة التعامل دي هي اللي بتخلي الفكر دي “مشكلة” وبتدمر ناس ويمكن انا مندفعة اوي كده لاني مريت بالحكاية دي من قريب اوي كأن كلامك جه ع الوجع واتمني ان المقال التاني ده اشوفه قريب من حضرتك
        وميرسي ليكي اوي ^_^

        • Raghda A. El Sayed

          I’m really sorry you went through this. I’d actually love to write an article about this topic. Would you mind if I contact you for questions around the subject? I haven’t been though anything similar and won’t want to write about something I don’t really know about.

          • Joman Abbas

            اكيد طبعا في اي وقت تحبيه مفيش مشكلة ^_^
            شوفي الطريقة اللي تحبي تتواصلي بيها معايا وانا معاكي يمكن مقالك يعمل اللي حاجات كتير معملهوش

          • Sahar

            Great different point of view, What if you tried both? and failed both? I guess there are many other factors that make it either “that bad” or “why not?” option

          • Noran Sakr

            🙂 كونتاكت مي يا غالية
            انا عدا عليا 5 عرسانن صالونات اجارك الله يا اختي، كل واحد فيهم قصتو تموت من الضحك ، هديكي متريال تطلعي بيها بكتاب مش بس مقال

          • Raghda A. El Sayed

            I’d actually love to hear your stories 😀

          • Noran Sakr

            i’ll send u a msg on FB with my contacts , u’ll find it in ur “other” folder 🙂

      • Farah Khalil

        gebti mel akher

    • Ahmed Genena

      I agree with 90% mn kalamek, bas mesh kol El welad lafet we daret, dah ana mabostesh wa7da le7ad now 3’er omy 😀
      Gawaz El salonat mesh we7sh 100% ka fekra, bas El ahl wel da3’t 3al bent 7aga mostafeza begad

  • Ahmed Dalatony

    I just have one comment
    Most Guys nowadays are not socially awkward to marry this way with satisfaction,,,
    They just don’t have the time to get to know someone,,, or they just don’t have the opportunity yet,,
    And about those who are socially awkward to marry like this with their agreement,, that would be in certain places like countryside or some small cities, and the girls there are totally agree with thats,, they also refuse any attempts of dates or flirtations or relationships of any type but the formal salonat ones
    Our society is still years behind understanding this culture,, specially parents

  • Madiha M.K

    Can you write an article on the whole point of marriage according to egyptian society and culture? Is it just me, or is there some unspoken motive behind marriage that goes along the lines of..’that’s just what you do w khalas’?

    • Raghda A. El Sayed

      Sorry for the late reply, I just got to see your comment now. It’s a very long subject, so it’ll take a lot of time to research properly, but will definitely start working on it!

  • Salma Abo El Leil

    I just started lately to look at it from the same perspective as yours.