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Click here to go to Website Match - A diverse, global community of quality single adults who share common goals - intelligent individuals who want to find great dates, make new friends, form romantic relationships or meet life partners.The pairs then spent three minutes chatting, at the end of which the men moved down a seat to talk to the next woman. For traditionally minded Muslims, families are intimately involved in the selection of a mate from the start.In the course of two hours, there were to be 27 of these three-minute rounds, along with a dinner, and then a “social hour,” where they could mingle more freely. Such a scenario was playing out a few yards away, where Rocky, a neurosurgeon from Chicago, was being prepped by his sister and two of her friends. “ ‘ Rocky, a big, tall guy in a gray suit with no tie, laughed.In theory, his MD gives him an edge, Raza and Kadir lamented, doctor being the most preferred occupation among parents.There is one problem with doctors, however: It takes so long to become one.Mohammed said he spotted her in the foyer beforehand. Even though Ashraf hails from Chicago, which has a sizable Muslim community, she said it was hard to meet the same number of potential suitors in the regular course of life.
When he didn’t encounter her during the three-minute sessions, he had a volunteer introduce them during the social hour. While the interactions at the banquet can feel a bit forced, Ashraf said, they spare the participants even more awkwardness.
The swelling crowd, ranging in age from 21 to 50-something, meant the evening of speed dating and socializing known as the Matrimonial Banquet was about to begin.
The banquet has been part of the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) in some form or another for more than two decades, said the group’s matrimonial assistant, Tabasum Ahmad.
The guy in the suit was an electrical engineer from Atlanta named Mo Raza, 30. Kadir, who owns an insurance business in Tampa, went to one a couple of years ago and Raza was asking him how it worked. “You might not want to ask everyone that,” he said.
The format this year entailed having the women sit on one side of a long rectangular table with men close to their age parked across from them. “Make them feel like you’re really into them.” Raza said he wanted to ask the women whether they wanted to keep working after starting a family, not so much because he had a staunch preference, but to gauge her reaction. The real test would be meeting Raza’s mother, who was standing behind him, one of many relatives and friends who accompanied some of the attendees.
“It’s ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ and there’s no hard feelings,” she said.