"I gaze at all the men on the street and think, 'Oh God, isn't there just one for me?'"

Most women are shy when they first come in the door, said Tayseer matchmaker Nisrin Khalil, 21.

“I tell the girls, be like Khadija!” said Khalil, referring to the Prophet Muhammad’s first wife.

Muslim tradition says Khadija proposed to Muhammad — and was years his senior. It’s a powerful message to women: Islam’s first lady bucked conservative Arab tradition more than 1,400 years ago and they can defy Gaza tradition now.