Sojourner on Earth

Chawi Giza

Working Papers
Natural Language Processing
Photo Albums


Called many things, the Evil Eye is the negative effect of zealous admiration, envy, malicious intent or jealousy and can even come inadvertently from excessive love, devotion, or admiration.  The look, a sharp glance or a negative thought, is believed to have the ability to harm those on whom it falls. It can come from anyone, friend or foe, at any time; you can even call it upon yourself. Eastern Mediterranean people take great care when praising or admiring anything, especially children. Numerous rituals and practices are used to defuse the risk of eliciting the eye. Rituals vary among each culture. "Mashallah" is used to invoke God's blessing on a person or possession being praised.  In the Latin culture when a child or object is admired, a preventive measure of allowing the admirer to touch the child or item being admired as a way to dispel the envy. The Greeks have a ritual making a vocalized noise reminiscent of spitting as a symbol of hydrating.  
In ancient times it was believed that the evil eye was connected with symptoms of drying, desiccation, withering, and dehydration.  The milk of a nursing mother drying, children becoming ill and vomiting, fruit trees withering or no longer bearing fruit, the loss of potency in men, these are all related to the "dehydrating effects" of the evil eye. Serious prayers and ceremonies, hand gestures, actions and talisman are used to deflect the evil eye. Many insist the evil eye is nothing more than superstition, to the true believers of the evil eye its powers are not to be taken lightly.