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Posted by BORN AGAIN (Member # 5) on
From The Jerusalem Post
A story of hi-tech love in the Arab Gulf
By ORLY HALPERN
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates
Three months ago, "Seif" and "Marwa" (not their real names) were strangers sitting in an Abu Dhabi coffee shop. They met without exchanging a word. Using only their Bluetooth-enabled camera-equipped mobile phones they discovered each other and exchanged photos of what they look like beneath their headdresses, without publicly breaking any rules of their traditional society.
It was love thanks to Bluetooth. The technology is taking the Arab Gulf by storm. In a region where it is unacceptable for strangers of the opposite sex to speak with one another and marriage is arranged by parents, young Arabs are using the technology to meet the opposite sex and have relationships without their parents' knowledge.
Talking to a reporter at the restaurant, Marwa and Seif revealed how many young Arab couples in the Gulf region now meet, bypassing the strict social customs that normally separate the genders.
"She followed me," said Seif, 25, with a smile and a wink. He wears a neatly shaved goatee, a red and white keffiyeh carefully arranged on his head and a long white starched dishdasheh tunic, common dress among Arab men in the Gulf region.
"Not true," exclaimed Marwa, 22, dressed in a sequined black headscarf and a floor-length black abaya cloak with sparkling sequins down the arms.
"I was just sitting there by myself minding my own business," she said. "Then I got a message from him." Although she feigned innocence, Marwa had her Bluetooth function on her cellular phone enabled and in "visible" mode. The wireless technology, available in some cellular phones and computers, allows one to detect – and be detected by – other enabled and visible devices in a 10-15 meter range and exchange information with them.
Marwa opened the message file and found a color photo of Seif looking at her from the screen of her phone. Subtly glancing around her she identified who was the sender. He was looking straight at her.
Marwa has a few different photos of herself saved on her camera. She chose one and sent it to him. According to Islam, only women's faces, hands and feet can be exposed to the public. The Bluetooth and camera functions on the cellular phone let Seif see much more without anyone knowing. The picture displayed Marwa wearing a red shirt, her dark brown tresses flowing around her smiling round face.
Marwa then paid her bill, got up, and walked out. He followed her into another coffeeshop where they sat side by side and began to talk.
Since that fateful day the two spend as much time together as they can. Seif works for a petroleum company and meets Marwa after work. She's a nurse and works shifts. Sometimes, like tonight, she tells her family she's on night duty and spends it with him.
Almost everywhere one goes in Dubai there are people who have their Bluetooth ready for action: malls, offices, restaurants, and even the Dubai International Airport. Few cellular phone stores sell the Bluetooth phones without cameras because of the popular joint use of both.
Posted by LaurieFL (Member # 3794) on
Oh man. Just wait. They will be bombing the cell phone company headquarters here in the States soon, because it is all our fault their young men and women are being rebellious.
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