In the leafy grounds of Cairo University there are many dating couples among the crowds of students. Some sit close together in shady corners and hold hands.
Religious customs and ideas of social propriety in Egypt do not permit them to take their relationships much further.
However there is a way of bending the rules - urfi marriage.
Young Egyptians are said to be opting for these informal marriages in record numbers, often as a way of getting around religious strictures against premarital sex.
"It's a secret marriage between a boy and girl which even their parents don't know about," explains a 20-year-old archaeology student. "They don't announce it publicly."
"From what I hear there are a lot of students in this university who have urfi marriages," adds his companion, Dina.
It is difficult to get young women who have had bad experiences of urfi marriages to speak about them but one told us her story through a lawyer.
She explained she had never had a boyfriend before she went to university but met a fellow student on campus and fell in love.
He gave her many reasons why they could not formally marry but persuaded her to sign a urfi marriage contract.
They consummated their union at her house when her parents were out at work.
However the woman became nervous after her mother confronted her about blood on her bed sheets.
"Really I was afraid so I called the guy I married and told him he needed to come over and ask for my hand officially," she recalls.
"Straight away he found a lot of excuses why he could not come and we had an argument.
"He broke up with me and tore up our urfi marriage contract."
Eventually the student revealed to her family what had happened and they tried reporting the case to the police.
However as she had consented to sex she had no comeback. She said she felt humiliated.
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