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13 June, 2004

Dubai Dementors

Horror struck the cinema audience at Mercato Mall as Harry Potter III suddenly tranformed into 3D, with a wailing Dementor flying out of the screen and up the aisle. It turned out to be a flapping black abaya rushing out with her shreiking sheikhlet.

Real-life wizards are still popular in remote villages, where a bizarre blend of Islamic ritual and tribal voodoo brings endless disappointment to superstitious mountain folk:

"...there are some magicians who pass along talismans to women who want to get pregnant after doctors have failed to help them. The women are told to burn the talismans or dip them in water and drink the liquid after reciting verses from the Holy Quran.

"Other talismans are used to make a husband never think of another woman."

The most interesting practice is the summoning of Djinn - or genies - apparently a "regular occurrence". An Emirati Old Wives' Tale warns that immodest nightwear will encourage Djinns to ravish a young maiden while she sleeps. Burqas must be the preferred pajamas these days.

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