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Danka gets more than a ride for his cab fare

On a typical Saturday night in the city, Manhattan resident Troy Danka ’00, a former computer engineering major at Lehigh, was headed to nightspot 515 Bar to meet some friends when he raised his hand to hail a cab.

It was a routine gesture that he had no idea would bring a potential girlfriend into his life.

“Only in New York," says Danka about his chance encounter with the matchmaking cab driver. "That's why I love it here."

It turned out Danka had climbed into the cab of Ahmed Ibrahim, who launched into tales of his matchmaking expertise and offered to set Danka up with a nice girl, “only after I answered no to his inquiry, ‘Are you a player?’” Danka says.

Danka was intrigued by Ibrahim’s promise, and he went for it. “Sometimes dating can be challenging in New York, so I’m always looking to meet new people,” Danka says.

Ibrahim called Danka on his cell phone the next day to tell him he’d found a match for him. He gave Danka the name and number of a 23-year-old woman who had just moved to the Big Apple and was interested in meeting someone new.

“I had nothing to lose, and lots of potential, so I gave the girl a call. We laughed about the whole story and decided to catch up for coffee the next day,” Danka explains.

Danka had a great time with his blind date, but says he didn’t feel a strong connection with her and things never developed further between the pair.

But the chance for love was not lost for Danka. In the months following his first blind date, he saw five more women Ibrahim suggested. The last woman Ibrahim recommended was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, which resulted in Danka’s matchmaking story becoming a front-page article for the renowned newspaper.

“We did some promotional interviews on the Today show as well,” Danka says. Following exposure on Today, the story made it to news agencies around the world, and Danka enjoyed his 15 minutes of fame.

Although Danka hasn’t yet found a longlasting relationship through the cab matchmaking service, he hasn’t given up on his search for love in the city that never sleeps.

“I am still in touch with Ahmed regularly and he sends me numbers now and then. He has promised to find me a girl,” Danka says.

--Kristen Hampton

Lehigh Alumni Bulletin Online
May 2005

Posted on Tuesday, May 03, 2005

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