Desert Animals Part 1: What Does the Fox Say?

Below is a picture of a Fennec fox, the smallest of the fox family and a common predator found in the Northern Sahara.  This animal was captured by local children and is being shown off to tourists for tips.  The children lure the animals…

The Jinn Part I: Aisa Qandisa

The Jinn of Middle East and North Africa legend bear little relationship to the Western caricature of a bare-chested figure arising from an oil lamp to grant wishes.  Created before the race of man from smokeless fire, the Jinn, like humans,…

Supernatural in the Souk

Deep in the heart of the souk of Marrakech, small shops sell darker goods than colorful sandals and clanging tea sets.  The stall pictured above has items for sale to aid in the casting of magic spells, both light and dark.  In the middle…

Magic in Marrakech

Koutubia mosque View of the Koutubia mosque from the roof-top restaurant of our hotel. The hand of Miriam This is a beautiful example of a Jewish Hamsa, in an ancient synagogue in the traditional mellah, or Jewish quarter, of Marrakech.…

Off to Marrakech...

No, seriously, I'm doing research! So today marks the first day of my vacation, I mean my fact-finding trip to Morocco. I'm hoping to learn more about traditional beliefs about the Jinn and incorporate them into my novel. I didn't need…

The Hand of Fatima

Now that you're tossing and turning at night, worrying about the Evil Eye, you're probably eager to hear about ways to protect yourself from it. In Italy, you might ward off Il Malocchio with the mano cornuto or sign of the horns : The…