Jun. 16. 2019L'Orient le Jour Article june 2019 À l’affût d’un époux libanais ? Ne cherchez pas à Beyrouth mesdemoiselles...
'' Ce ne sont pas les hommes célibataires libanais qui manquent. Le manque de célibataires libanais se manifeste plutôt quand on désire effectuer une recherche basée sur la religion, le niveau éducatif et culturel, et le niveau de vie sociale », assure Solange Sraih, fondatrice d'une agence matrimoniale.''Béchara MAROUN | OLJ27/01/2015
Feb. 13. 2018Faire ou refaire sa vie ne s'invente pas
Faire ou refaire sa vie ne s'invente pas. Que ce soit sur son lieu de travail ou par chance, découvrir soi-même la femme ou l’homme de sa vie reste minime. Des milliers de personnes vivent seules et n’y font que se croiser…sans se rencontrer.
La solitude s’installe. Il reste cependant que pour nombre d’entre nous bonheur rime toujours avec couple.
C’est pour faciliter ces rencontres sérieuses et espérées entre personnes libres et motivées que Pomdamour existe, elle a permis à des douzaines d’hommes et de femmes de trouver le bonheur.
Apr. 10. 2017Solange Sraih marie expats et Libanais locaux!
Jan. 12. 2016لا وقت للتعارف
تقول صولانج سريح، مؤسسة وكالة الزواج "Pomme d’amour" (تفاحة الحب) التي ساهمت في تزويج ثمانين ثنائياً منذ العام ٢٠٠٧ أن "معظم زبائنها من النساء متعلمات وناجحات جدا في مهنهن، لكنهن لا يملكن الوقت للتعارف". ولاحظت أن معظم زبائنها من النساء يبحثن عن الثقة والأمان في الشريك. "هن لا يبحثن عن رجال أغنياء، ولكن عن شركاء حقيقيين، عن رجال قادرين على تحمل مسؤولية تكوين عائلة".
أما زبائن "تفاحة الحب" من الذكور، فغالبيتهم من المغتربين الذبن يبحثون عن نصفهم الآخر في بلدهم الأم.
وتضيف سريح أنها افتتحت وكالتها في الاساس لتزويج المسنين، ولكنها سرعان ما اكتشفت ان أبناء الفئة العمرية الممتدة من ٢٥ الى ٤٠ سنة في لبنان كانوا الأكثر إقداماً على طلب خدماتها.
للتسجيل في الوكالة او للاطلاع على الخدمات زوروا www.pomdamour.net او اتصلوا على 70945299
ميريللا صالح Assafir
Dec. 18. 2015OTV بالعربي المشبرح
موضوع العنوسة في لبنان
Apr. 01. 2015Suzan Wilson The Daily Star 01 04 2015
Pom d’Amour: linking Lebanese to love
BEIRUT: The idea of a matrimonial agency was so foreign toLebanon that initially owner and founder of Pom d’Amour, Solange Sraih, found herself monitored by a confused and curious General Security.
“I was the first matrimonial registry in Lebanon [and] they didn’t understand the service. They watched me for one year, when they saw I was doing a good a job ... they left me alone,” she told The Daily Star.
Sraih, who is French-Lebanese, said the idea for a matchmaking service came to her when she returned to Lebanon from France and found herself unemployed during the 2006 war with Israel.
“I found myself without any job, and I found single ladies all around me saying: ‘We are not going to go into war again and I didn’t get married, I don’t have a child, I haven’t finished my career.’”
Sraih launched Pom d’Amour, an “exclusive matrimonial service for Lebanese overseas” on Valentine’s Day 2007, and to date the agency boasts 76 successful marriages.
At the beginning her clients came mostly from the Lebanese diaspora, people returning home to find a changed society and a harder landscape for finding romance.
Now Pom d’Amour has hundreds of clients from varying socio-economic backgrounds.
It’s not been easy, however, to gain acceptance for a matchmaking service in Lebanon. While Sraih has noted that over time people have become more open minded, stigma around the idea remains.
“I just don’t think I would ever be desperate enough,” said one 28-year-old Lebanese woman, when asked if she would ever consider using a marriage service like Pom d’Amour.
Others approached by The Daily Star were similarly dismissive of the idea. These reservations, however, are not unexpected in a society that still places such high regard on familial reputation.
Despite the apparent liberal nature of the capital Beirut, Lebanon has a conservative society that frowns upon issues such as unmarried men and women cohabiting – technically illegal under personal status laws. Opportunities to find a match in a way that society approves can be few and far between.
In fact, unlike the matchmaking services Sraih worked for in France, even her happily married couples are unwilling to share their success – at least not through Pom d’Amour.
“Of those 76 couples, 80 percent said to me: ‘Please don’t ever show any photo, don’t ever talk about us, we want you to forgot about us.’ They made their own story [of how they met].”
Getting her clients to meet while respecting their privacy is also a much harder task in Lebanon than it was in France.
“In France they also have parties to mix and mingle ... [in Lebanon] each member wants to stay discreet. I cannot show photos online. I cannot send the family name [of clients] before the [matches’] meeting.”
Sraih, however, doesn’t mind her clients’ need for privacy. Instead she has fashioned her service around the idea. She meets with every client in person (or via Skype if they are based abroad), in order to find out what, or rather who, they are looking for, and to build trust between the client and herself.
How she goes about finding a match is also distinctly Lebanese in nature. “You know the Lebanese. We are Muslim, Christian, Anglophone, Francophone,” she said, explaining that while her database is large, once a client’s criteria has been applied, the pool of potential matches becomes quite smaller.
It’s not just about matching a client’s requirements for age, religion and “level of culture,” however. Chemistry is the deciding factor in any match.
“You can meet many people with your criteria that you won’t find any chemistry with. [A match comes from] a mixture of the criteria the client has given and my judgment regarding the chemistry,” she said.
Sraih offered the example of convincing a client to give someone outside his or her desired age range a chance, because she feels there could potentially be a spark between them.
The international scope of Pom d’Amour is also focused around those with Lebanese roots, though Sraih is happy to match others – usually Europeans – who have an appreciation and love of Lebanese culture.
“I don’t work with Arab people [other than Lebanese]. I don’t understand them, that’s all. But I have already one marriage with Italian and Lebanese, one marriage with French and Lebanese. Because both of them know Lebanon very well, they know our culture very well, our cuisine, our way of living and they love it.”
Matching up Lebanese abroad is also a logistical task for Sraih. Just recently she set up a client who was visiting family in Dubai with two potential Lebanese matches in the city. Asked about safety checks, she explained that in Lebanon she is limited to the information she has access to, but does demand verification for employment and marital status.
Sraih has also noticed certain trends and patterns in her eight years of running a Lebanese matrimonial agency.
Notably that the number of female to male clients she has is constantly fluctuating, though she believes it is fair to say that more single women are interested in marriage than men – something that means higher prices for men, to weed out those less serious about the service’s endgame.
She has also noted that most female clients don’t tend to register with her until their early 20s. This, she surmised, is due to the opportunities to find a match via university or employment that begin to dwindle over time, leading people to seek a wider net of opportunity.
Sraih is also looking to expand her business abroad – she currently has Lebanese clients in the Gulf, Canada and Brazil – but is waiting to find the right business partner.
“You have to love this business. You can’t think only money. You have to love people. You have to have empathy. So I haven’t found somebody yet who loves it like I do.”
Asked what makes Pom d’Amour a success in a society where her clients prefer to keep quiet about how they met, Sraih said: “My business is working because there is a need for it.”
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on April 01, 2015, on page 2.
Mar. 19. 2015Orbit TV Ouyoun Beirut march 2015
pomd'Amour Matrimonial Agency
Feb. 13. 2015Beirut man just isn’t that into you – but is Dubai Valentino the answer? AnnaharCaline Nasrallah
13 February 2015 at 14:01
It is no secret that women in Lebanon have had a hard time finding the perfect match lately. That comes as no surprise, seeing as there are 6 women for every man in the country, but instead of taking the Dubai route as some would suggest, women need to retain their dignity and stand up for themselves once and for all.
Though men might find themselves in an Eve-filled Eden, the situation is grim for those women who just want to settle down. And that percentage of single women in Lebanon who are less than 35 years old and are at an age to marry amounts to a whopping 85%, according to a study in the Netherlands. The marriage crisis in Lebanon can no longer be ignored, and though some women might have swum against the tide and have themselves chosen not to get married, there are others who have fruitlessly roamed the land in search for the perfect husband, only to find themselves horribly alone and with nowhere to turn.
Now, while someone might suggest widening one's social circle, going to new places, or breaking out of one's comfort zone in order to try and meet "the one", others might simply suggest going to Dubai and meeting your prince charming there. After all, he's sure to have the money.
Such a solution would be suggested by Solange Sraih, founder of Pom d'Amour, a Lebanese international matrimonial agency. It is based in Lebanon and is "specially designed for Lebanese locals and various other nationalities accustomed to our culture and tradition." Our culture and tradition being, well, money. If that wasn't clear enough already, the description on the agency's website (www.pomdamour.net) goes on to say that they cater to the most "financially and intellectually elite social circles." 7 years of practice and over 76 marriages under its belt, the agency seems to have struck a chord with Lebanese society, and the problem appears to stem from the Lebanese society itself.
Bechara Maroun vs. Single Women at 35
Bechara Maroun, a journalist at L'Orient le Jour newspaper in Beirut, agrees with Sraih, and believes that a woman not finding a partner before hitting 35 is a "perilous social challenge." Perilous as that may be, it is actually much more perilous not only to be convinced of such backward thinking, but to even be so confident about it to shout it from the rooftops. In his article "À l'affût d'un époux libanais? Ne cherchez pas à Beyrouth mesdemoiselles..." published in L'Orient le Jour, Maroun shamelessly enforces and promotes the stigma of single women looking for a husband, that of the "old maid" endlessly roaming the land.
But is Maroun part of the problem or part of the solution? Answers may vary, seeing as the Lebanese population of women can be divided into two completely opposite groups. To those who do not believe marriage is the most important thing in life, the article is outrageous, chauvinistic, and downright sexist. To the other party, however, that composed of women who really do just want to settle down and get married, and who struggle to do so before it's "too late", it might just be their silver lining.
It's all about the money
Pom d'Amour is there to rescue all girls in need of a financially able husband.
According to Sraih, founder of the agency, "It is harder for Lebanese women to find a husband because most of the men belonging to a certain age group (32-45) have left the country to establish themselves and make a future for themselves, a feat which is practically impossible in Lebanon due to the declining economy. This has been an issue in Lebanese society since 2006 if not earlier. These men have been heading towards Dubai where money flows freely and easily.
The only ones who have stayed in Lebanon are those who were rich to begin with, those who have inherited money or land from their parents and are in no need of a financial boost. Women who don't find suitable men at university or at work and who need new social circles to meet new potential husbands resort to Pom d'Amour which connects them with those very men who have left the country, seeing as they could suit their needs." Financial ones, that is.
All that is good and helpful, and it can't be denied that the financial side to a relationship is very important in cases of marriage, seeing as money problems could strain a marriage, but for women to be making money their initial criterion is sad. Agencies like Pom d'Amour encourage them, that much is true, but it is also true that these agencies spurt according to a society's demands. The problem is therefore ingrained in women's mindsets, which is unfortunate because even though money is important, it's not the major part of a connection between two people.
Women and plastic surgery
So women are hunting for a husband- how do they go about that? When asked what she believes women are doing about this dilemma, Sraih agrees that "plastic surgery is a trend in Lebanon, but girls who contact Pom d'Amour haven't had anything more drastic than a nose job." She says those who have had more done can rely on their beauty to capture a man's attention, but women who are more interested in cultivating their minds wouldn't take it upon themselves to do so, to look pretty and wait around for a man to notice them.
So they take the bull by the horns and call the agency.
This is also quite problematic because "beautiful" women are depicted as superficial and are increasingly objectified. Here is yet another facet of this problem which is quickly turning into one of feminism.
"Those who want to cultivate their minds, however, the professional women of the working world, are those who resort to these agencies," says Sraih. "They do so because they understand it is a professional demand." (Marriage, a professional demand, really?) She also goes on to say that "men like working girls who have something to occupy their minds with, but they would also like their future wives to drop everything when a baby comes along and devote their lives to raising the child."
Double standard men
These double standards that Lebanese men have seem really incomprehensible. First they say they want a working woman with a "sound mind", and then they say they want a woman who will be ready to drop everything she's worked for to raise a child. How do they not see that a woman with such a "sound mind" wouldn't ever agree to erase herself from professional society and bow out to raise a child? They don't just want their wives to go on maternity leave, which is completely necessary for both mother and child, but they want them to give up their lives' worth of work for their child, a child who will later feel oppressed, smothered and guilty when he decides to leave the nest because he'd be leaving his mother alone and with nothing to occupy herself with. Meanwhile, the father continues his daily life as before, unharmed, unaffected, untarnished. Pretty little picture, isn't it?
Upon asking Sraih which women usually find it harder to marry, she replies saying it is usually those "whose biological clocks are ticking." That makes it harder for men to accept them because they want to start a family.
Back to Bechara Maroun for an instant. He also believes women should "drop everything and leave for their men," their men being Mr. Moneybags waiting for them in Dubai, bank account and all. "Young women should go search elsewhere, especially seeing as these men, and Sraih confirms this, are usually searching for a Lebanese woman and don't really have enough time to conduct the necessary research," he writes in his article.
Lebanese women's opinions
Nada, a 27 year old professor and translator, believes the marriage crisis is a very logical result to the problems the country is faced with. There are a lot less men than there are women, and conditions are hard. Women want to study, work, and establish themselves in society before getting married, so the age of marriage has increased to a new average. Most people finish their education at 23, and need some time to forge a career. It is no easy feat. "The financial situation doesn't help much either," she says, "and marriage comes with responsibility and a lot of expenses. It is not easy, but women strive to make their own money and don't want to go to Dubai at all to find a husband." "It is a catastrophic situation," she continues, "a large part of the population is indeed single, but for logical reasons."
All this talk about Dubai makes a person wonder, what is it actually like there?
Carole, a Lebanese woman who works in Dubai, says that most of the Lebanese men there are just out looking for a good time and do not want to get serious at all. When they do decide to settle down, they pick a bride from Lebanon because "most of the girls in Dubai have quite a good time themselves." This girl they decide to marry will later be whisked off to Dubai with them. This enforces the idea that some women should indeed go to Arab countries and find their "soulmates", but it doesn't make it right.
Maya Ammar, from the Lebanese NGO Kafa, was asked about her sociological point of view regarding the marriage crisis. "There is no obvious link between domestic violence and the decrease of marriages," she says. "Women have just realized that they have more options and should no longer submit to societal pressures. They are educated, they work, and marriage is no longer an obligation but an option. Women have become more independent. They are no longer in submission to their male counterparts, and seeing as men still have the image of a woman in submission to him in mind, women have been unable to find a partner who accepts and appreciates their independence."
And so the components of the marriage crisis come down to two little things. One, women want to complete their educations and work before settling down, and finding a man who understands this new generation of women has proved to be quite difficult.
Two, the economic crisis has played a major role, for in this age where people find it increasingly harder to become financially independent, women just want to attain stability and be autonomous before committing to someone. After all, one must commit to oneself before being able to commit to another.
All this babbling goes to show that there are two types of women in Lebanon today: the independent ones who want to be able to depend on themselves, and those who want to marry rich and reinforce the stigma of the Lebanese "gold digger" or even the image of a woman being meek and in need of a man to take care of her- an outrage to feminists. It's okay to want to feel security, but in the 21st century society has moved forward a point where women should be able to fend for themselves. Female empowerment should be more widespread in such countries where they still are sometimes discriminated against and where patriarchy runs rampant.
If you were wondering why Lebanese women are depicted as gold diggers, just read what Maroun wrote in his article:
"It is out of the question for them to unite themselves in marriage with fourth class employees," to which some women added, "How am I to live with a man if I can't admire him? Where are the Lebanese men, the future husbands, future fathers, those we can fall in love with?"
Instead of willingly reinforcing patriarchy, women must aspire to make room for themselves in society as respected professional whole individuals. "Two half persons do not a healthy relationship make." (Sherry Amatenstein, The Complete Marriage Counselor)
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