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Real Life Gossip Girl: The List That Took Cairo by Storm

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at McMaster chapter.

I think it’s safe to say that a lot of girls—including me—dream of the day they meet the love of their life: the one they can travel the world with, who will be their best friend for all of eternity. But how desperate can each of us truly get? An anonymous Egyptian woman took on the role of Gossip Girl when she released an Excel spreadsheet online, which laid out the most eligible bachelors in the city, specifically the extremely wealthy bachelors. She spent five years of her life on this list, going on date after date, until she eventually dated over 100 men in the city. Sure, after all that time it wasn’t the most up-to-date list of bachelors when it was released, but making use of the internet, that didn’t really matter. Initially, the list was only sent to her friends (perhaps so they could find someone for themselves), but those friends shared the list with their friends, and eventually, the list went viral. Not only did the women of Cairo begin their search for these men based on the list, they also began questioning whether its creator was mentally sane, or if she was an absolute genius.

You see, the list wasn’t just names of the men. The list included the men’s generational wealth, their current jobs, whether they were tall, how attractive they were, and if they “summer in Europe.” On her dates, she claims she was able to guess each of the men’s phone passwords, saying they were “too easy to hack into.” Through her intense phone stalking, she now knew about their current and previous relationships. To many, this behaviour is similar to a stalker’s: slightly crazy and genius in the way that it takes skills to hack into men’s phones and dedicate five years to an Excel sheet. Aside from the invasion of privacy, many found her behaviour crazy because of the amount of men she dated. Even though dating in Egypt is becoming more normalized, it’s still a major scandal when a girl goes out with more than a couple of men, let alone 100 men. She knew how insane her list seemed and even mentioned it at the end of the Excel sheet, “As you can tell, I’m a psycho, so if a boy isn’t on this list, he’s probably not worth your time, or I’ve already dumped him.” Perhaps she meant for this list to go viral, to begin with, because why else would she keep track of men she went out with from three or four years prior? Why not eliminate the guys that she wasn’t considering for marriage right away? She claims that she was simply trying to look out for the girls in Egypt who are looking for husbands. However, whether or not she wanted the list to go viral, she made a large statement specifically to Egyptian women. Through her list, she revealed to them that there are far more issues within Egyptian society than they realize.

Think of this Egyptian Gossip Girl as just a girl with standards. Sure, she went a little beyond what is considered socially acceptable, but at the end of the day, she’s like any of us, is she not? She’s a girl looking for the right guy for her and a product of the cultural pressures that exist in relation to women and marriage, forced to spend her 20s searching for love. Despite being part of a higher-class family herself, as opposed to spending her time more effectively, she spent her time searching through Cairo’s elite for love. Maybe she thought this was the only way to maintain her wealth in the crumbling Egyptian economy. Many people are stuck in this cycle of searching for love but are not considered crazy. As women, we are often criticized for our attributes and behaviours because men don’t like that. Despite progress in women’s rights, society still deems that many of our lives truly begin once we are married. From the moment we reach a certain age, we start being asked questions about whether we are interested in anyone or not. Even if there is an understanding that women have careers and are more independent now, questions regarding love always follow. Maybe Egyptian Gossip Girl is actually a genius because she acted quickly in her hunt for a husband: instead of waiting for a man suitable enough to show up at her doorstep, she did something.

I think her idea of a list could even work as a dating app over time. I mean, you choose a date based on the attributes you like, and the guys could end up being total creeps, or they could be the love of your life. What if we all implemented her idea into our lives on a smaller scale? What if I made a list of all the potential guys I know, with all of their attributes, both good and bad, then would it be as crazy, or would it be a genius way of analyzing my choices? What if the roles were reversed and it was a guy that had stalked and created a list of the top 100 eligible bachelorettes, then would the list be equally as crazy? What if she had started selling this list instead of releasing it online, how many of us would buy it? I know if I became that desperate, I would pay money to see a list of potential options based on my own standards. For her, she was able to find the guy for her based on her list of standards, even if those standards were very materialistic, but this might not be the case for everyone. There is no formula for love, most of us barely even know what love is, just what we have been taught over the years.

As a collective society, we’ve romanticized ideas of love and marriage, ignoring its associated hardships and only focusing on kind words and grand gestures. Being raised amongst Disney princess movies, we all want to have our own fairy tales. But the reality is, that even if love is great and magical, it can be hard to find. There’s the chance that I’m overthinking this, and it’s just a girl looking for a guy who checks all her boxes, especially her financial requirements. Though, the issue with a list like this is that sometimes you can find someone who lives up to all of your standards but they’re still not the one for you. I hope for her sake, after all of this effort, that’s not the case. Whether her list was crazy or genius, I will leave it up to you…but let’s hope Egyptian Gossip Girl doesn’t strike again.

Nour Abousamra

McMaster '26

Nour Abousamra is a Writer at the McMaster chapter of Her Campus. Beyond Her Campus, Nour is working towards completing her Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree in the Integrated Business and Humanities Program at McMaster University. Additionally, Nour is a mentor in the First Year Orientation Program (FYOP), where she gives advice and ensures that first-years are enjoying their time at McMaster. Nour has experience in the sales industry, where she worked as a Sales Associate at Bath and Body Works for almost 2 years. During her free time, Nour is part of a basketball intramural team on campus. Outside of school, she enjoys reading romance books, going to the gym, watching F1, shopping and travelling. However, she will more likely be sitting in bed watching a rom-com she’s seen before, or scrolling endlessly through TikToks. Nour’s upbringing in Egypt, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates has shaped her views on culture, religion, and the world we live in. She is always making an effort to learn and understand what is unknown. Nour is looking forward to her future experiences with Her Campus and would love for readers to reach out and let her know their thoughts and opinions on articles. Instagram: nour_abousamra246