The Curse of the ‘Evil Eye’

Tunisian Khamsa hanging inside a car
Tunisian Khamsa hanging inside a car. Source: CarlesVA on ca.wikipedia / eo.wikipedia (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This is the belief that a person’s misfortune, ill-health, suffering or bad luck may be caused by the look cast upon them by another person. The look cast upon a person is believed to be that of envy or admiration for an individual’s beauty, wealth, good health, achievement or for their beautiful and successful children. The person who casts the ‘evil eye’ may do so intentionally or unintentionally, by staring, gazing, or looking enviously at a person, their possessions, or their children. The belief in the power of the ‘evil eye’ holds that the look is capable of causing misfortune and ill-health.

There are various ways in which one can protect against the power of the evil eye. Amongst people of Arabic speaking backgrounds, the most popular way of protecting against and escaping the effects of the  ‘evil eye’ is by the use of  ‘evil eye’ talismans, symbols and jewellery. These items are used to ‘reflect’ the power of the  ‘evil eye’. The most basic design is a talisman with blue and white circles made to symbolize the eye, and in Arabic are known as the ‘nazar’.  These are used everywhere – in homes, vehicles, or jewellery, which adorn many women and are often pinned on babies.

You will observe that many of your Arabic speaking clients (irrespective of their religion or country of origin) wear jewellery with the ‘eye’ and you may often hear clients refer to causes of misfortune and ill-health being attributed to the curse of the ‘evil eye’.