How to Ward Off the Evil Eye


Laurie attempts to explain Middle East evil eye superstition. Can a lingering look with a penetrating gaze cause catastrophe in another’s life? If you’re Jordanian, you might think so (and your grandmother certainly does): it’s the pseudoscience of the “evil eye”. In Turkey, people with Frida Kahlo unibrows or pale color eyes are considered prime candidates […]

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Learn Efficiently While You Sleep?


Cram for your exams while taking a cat nap? This Israeli study says you might be able to learn while you are asleep. Is sleep learning possible? A new Weizmann Institute study appearing today in Nature Neuroscience has found that if certain odors are presented after tones during sleep, people will start sniffing when they […]

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World’s First All-Women City Coming to Saudi Arabia


The patriarchal kingdom of Saudi Arabia creates an all-female city where (the arguably better half) of humanity can work freely, within Islamic guidelines. Saudi Arabia has an increasingly educated female population, but its ultraconservative interpretation of Wahabi sharia law and rigid tribal customs forbid women from interacting with men. The upshot is chronic female unemployment. An […]

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Islam 101: Eid for Beginners


Learn the ropes of how to live in a Muslim country. Laurie goes over the 101 of Eid, Ramadan and some Muslim holiday rituals that might baffle the average westerner. Eid in the summer in the Middle East, when most ex-pats’ minds turn to quick trips-to-get-out-of-this-dry-heat. This year, my second in Jordan, I go native […]

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Arab Athletes by Brigitte Lacombe Celebrated at London Exhibit


Hey’Ya: Arab Women in Sport: Sisters Brigitte and Marian Lacombe celebrate Arab female athletes at London’s Sotheby’s Gallery. Last December, Qatar Museums Authority commissioned Brigitte Lacombe, a French photographer known mainly for her work with the film industry, to snap over 70 sportswomen from 20 Arab countries – some with Olympic potential. The project was […]

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How Green Are the Olympic Games?


Going into the London Olympic games, Green Prophet covered issues affecting Arab athletes who planned to compete in the 26th modern Olympiad since the games were revived in Athens in 1896. These are also religious ones, such as whether Muslim athletes could be exempted from fasting on Ramadan, as well as the perennial one over […]

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Looking inside a Bedouin tent


Jordanians can pick each other out by sight and last-name analysis, as accurate as DNA testing. Six million “Jordanians” are a quilt sewn from disparate ethnicities and cultures, co-existing in peace while retaining the essence of their origins. This tiny nation divides itself up into groups and sub-groups and tribes and families. Jordan hosts one of […]

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Middle East’s Olympians Exempted from Ramadan Fasting


Islamic scholars decree that Muslims athletes participating in the Olympic games are exempted from fasting. Throughout Ramadan, Muslims must refrain from eating or drinking from dawn to sundown.  The commitment demand both mental and physical stamina.  Fasting challenges sedentary workers in air conditioned offices.  Imagine the toll on world-class athletes who, depending on their particular […]

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