Crystal balls or coffee cups: 11 fascinating ways fortunes are told in the MidEast
Many in the Middle East have been to a fatta7a, or fortune-teller, at least once in our lives - as an occasional guilty pleasure, for a one-off joke, or because we were unable to escape an odd auntie who claims to have the “touch” and peers into our drained coffee cup after each feast.
It’s a standard side-trip for newly-arrived expats, involving an exciting venture into an unknown part of town, usually older, often poorer. The classic fatta7a will speak only Arabic, so decoding her messages largely depends on your bilingual friends. That’s a lot of local color for a few JD, with a cup of murky Turkish coffee thrown in for free. Continue reading below »
Not a coffee-drinker? There are other ways to peek into the unknown. Tea leaves can substitute for coffee grinds. Card reading has been around for centuries, believed to have begun in medieval Egypt. There are many Moroccan “mystics” who accost you on the streets in Balad (downtown), give you a few free messages from beyond, then move on to pitch fuller readings for prices that are also out-of-this-world!
Rich or poor, local or foreign, we all wonder what the future has in store for us. Looking for an alternative to the ho-hum daily horoscopes? But in all things paranormal, buyer beware! It’s illegal in the Arab world to charge for telling fortunes.
Dare to dip into the future Middle East-style with these 11 facts about fortune-telling? If you do, report back from the great beyond and tell us how it went!