x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Parents can still be helpful

Panel explores how even in these modern times family support still makes it easier to find love.

DUBAI // Even in these modern times parents can still be a great help in their adult children's search for Mr or Miss Right, a panel discussion held by the new group Promise Of A Generation heard at the weekend. The group was founded by four women - three Emiratis and an expatriate - two months ago to "promote respectful intercultural interaction, to improve our own understanding of the world and our responsibilities in it".

At its fifth meeting on Saturday, there was a s screening of the 20-minute documentary Finding Mr and Mrs Right: Dubai Style, which came third in the Student Documentary category at this year's Gulf Film Festival. Afterwards, the radio DJ Mustafa al Rawi moderated a discussion among an eclectic group that included married, single and divorced people. One of the main themes was the involvement of the family in decisions on marriage partners. "It works differently for different people," said Hassan al Hashimi.

"We are going to have to spend the rest of our lives with that person. If we have the support of our family then things are easier. If we don't then it is our responsibility to make them see what you see. You have to speak up, stand your ground." Omar al Shamsi believed it was harder for Emiratis to find love today than it had been for his grandparents or great grandparents, because society had become more segregated.

"Three generations ago you didn't have the hard core segregation we have today," he said. "People knew each other. I could sit with women of my country and converse with them and never fear something bad would happen. "The reason we go to our parents today is because we cannot meet or sit with women. Our sisters and mothers are the only ones who can sit and converse with us." Nada al Bustani, who is single, said her parents had been a great help in her search for a mate.

"My father has a lot of security check-ups," she said. "He would ask a friend of a friend and find out the nitty-gritty things that I would not know. That is why I would put trust in my family to check out the guy. But the final decision is mine." loatway@thenational.ae