Revealing the future

“She told me I would get married next summer to a very rich man! Ufff! I still have to wait for summer!” exclaims Marina, 27. “I will have three children, two girls and a boy…I would prefer to have two boys.”

Recently, Ali Sabat, a Lebanese psychic, was sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for sorcery. He had been arrested in the holy city of Medina while performing the ‘omra’ pilgrimage.

While fortune-telling is considered synonymous with witchcraft and is outlawed in Saudi Arabia, in Lebanon, it is big business. Yet, it still has its dangers.

Marina, like many other people in Lebanon, has no qualms about building her entire life on predictions. She follows fortune-tellers’ advice, no matter what they say. “Two years ago, one of them told me that I would be traveling within a period of a month and I did! I went to Dubai to visit my sister!” she exclaims.

When such a prediction comes true, the client gets sucked into this obsession.

Marina has visited many fortune-tellers over the last two years. Recently, she paid a visit to ‘el sit Mayada’, or Madame Mayada. “Mayada is blonde [and she] had lots of makeup on, and she was wearing many gold bracelets,” says Marina. “She was rolling some stones that helped her predict my future.”
Three weeks ago, Marina visited another fortune-teller, Helena. “[Helena] didn’t look like a typical psychic; she wasn’t wearing a lot of jewelry and her face wasn’t covered with make-up,” says Marina. “She looked at my face for few seconds and told me that I would meet someone during the summer. It will start as a friendship and end up [being] something serious. Well, we will see about that.”
“I don’t know if I should be listening to what these women tell me but I am so anxious to know my future that I don’t mind ‘believing’ them!” adds Marina.
Like Marina, Lina, a 23-year-old university graduate, loves visiting fortune-tellers. “I always think that this particular one will tell me the truth; she will tell me what I wish to hear!” she says.
“I don’t believe much in them but it is just out of curiosity,” says Rola, 27, who, although skeptical of their predictions, also visits fortune-tellers. “What astonished me the most was a fortune-teller who was able to find out through reading my eyes that my cousin was gay! She told me her initial and she was right! I was shocked.”

Many young people, such as these women, are spending their lives wondering anxiously what will happen in the future, forgetting to benefit from each moment they spend alive.

Mona, 32, is no longer a fan of psychics. “I was engaged [and] my fiancé wanted me to move with him to Saudi Arabia after we got married. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to, so I asked a fortune-teller, who I used to visit from time to time, her opinion. She told me not to and she even asked me to end the relationship…and that is what I did.” Eight years later, Mona is still single and living with her parents. “I hear that my ex-fiancé is living happily with his wife and two kids…But who to blame? I ruined my life with my bare hands! Fortune-tellers lie even when they say the truth!”

Mona has not visited a fortune-teller since. Whenever she meets someone who does, she tells them her story. “I want everyone around me to be aware of how dangerous this ‘hobby’ can be,” she says. “I lost many things as a result of my foolishness and my ignorance!”
Once, curious about my future and looking for answers, I visited a couple of fortune-tellers. “You are going to get married and live happily ever after!” “You are going to travel a lot!” The fortune-tellers came out with many such statements, hoping that eventually one of them would make me smile and I would hear what I had come looking for.

It is sad that so many people visit fortune-tellers on a regular basis, believing that the predictions will make their lives easier. Educated and ignorant people are both victims of this trap. These fortune-tellers are smart; they manipulate us to pay money for predictions that won’t do us any good!

This article was published in Hibr issue 5



  1. Danielle Said:

    This is really quite shocking..How fortune tellers are still able to make a living in this MODERN world is beyond me..It just goes to show that many people will do anything to not face the reality that we live our lives “not knowing”..which can be a scary thing..but as soon as we learn to “let go,” somehow, everything seems to fall into place.

  2. sarahilal Said:

    Hey Danielle, ya well it is quite sad how pppl live their entire life depending on fortune tellers…but it is just how life is…some ppl take what they say seriously and others just go there out of curiosity,,,,thx for the comment 🙂

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