All Things Assyrian
The Science of Anuptaphobia
By Zoe McKnight

Amanda Shallal, 32, an Assyrian living in Toronto, suffers from what the internet has coined "anuptaphobia" -- the fear of staying single forever. ( Rick Madonik/Toronto Star)
The Science of Dating is an occasional series exploring the great experiment that is love and the human condition.

There's a spiral staircase in Amanda Shallal's family home. Her mom had it built so she could watch each of her daughters saunter down the steps in a wedding dress.

Shallal's two sisters, both older and younger, have already done it, and her older brother is engaged. At 32, Shallal is starting to worry she'll never take that walk herself.

Being single at her age is "unheard of" in her family and culture, Shallal says. Her parents, who are members of the [Assyrian] Chaldean community, a Christian minority from Iraq, married young and wanted the same for her -- especially for her to find a nice Chaldean boy. That might be tricky, since only around 700 people in Toronto identified as native speakers of the Chaldean language in the last census.


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