A new state-approved dating app in conservative Iran is raising eyebrows and curiosity
(SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) LOCAL RESIDENT, ATEFEH KHANI, SAYING: "I'm not saying that I don't accept such an application (Hamdam dating app), because I do. I just don't accept it in a country like Iran because such a cultural concept hasn't found its place.”
Though Western-style dating is banned in the country
a state-affiliated Islamic cultural body developed Hamdam
to combat falling fertility rates
and growing discontent with traditional marriage arrangements
(SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) LOCAL RESIDENT, MATIN, SAYING: "I myself do not agree with the traditional method of finding a partner at all, where the family chooses a partner for someone because then that person won't have the final say in choosing their own partner. I think this method is better than a traditional method for finding a partner. Each have their own benefits. I prefer this method."
(SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) LOCAL RESIDENT, MATIN, SAYING: "I think if it's given time this application can slowly find its place and I think it would be a good thing."