Nix to the jinx

Abu Dhabi man accused of selling sorcery for cash

Court hears man took $16,300 to help infertile woman get pregnant using ‘special water’ and a broken eggshell

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter

Illustrative: In this photo from April 1, 2010, activists from a civil organization reenact an execution scene in front of the Saudi Arabia Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, as they protest a possible beheading of a Lebanese man accused of witchcraft in Saudi Arabia. (AP/Bilal Hussein, File)
Illustrative: In this photo from April 1, 2010, activists from a civil organization reenact an execution scene in front of the Saudi Arabia Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, as they protest a possible beheading of a Lebanese man accused of witchcraft in Saudi Arabia. (AP/Bilal Hussein, File)

A man has appeared in an Abu Dhabi court for allegedly cheating a woman out of Dh60,000 ($16,300) after promising to help her conceive through sorcery.

The woman had failed to get pregnant after six years of marriage and fertility treatments and had taken a friend’s advice to consult with a witch doctor, the Khaleej Times reported Monday.

They got in touch with a man who claimed to be able to treat jinns, or evil spirits, to reverse infertility and to improve marital relationships.

The man allegedly told the woman to smear a powder on her face and body, to shower with a bottle of “special water,” and to break an egg at her front door at dawn on a Saturday and to bring him the eggshell to be buried in a cemetery.

The woman’s husband saw her breaking the egg and complained to local police when he found out how much the suspected sorcerer had taken in payment.

Accusations of witchcraft are not uncommon in the Middle East.

Earlier this month, the Kaleej Times reported that Abu Dhabi police had launched a program to educate people about the dangers of witchcraft.

That was after they had arrested two sisters for allegedly swindling women into paying for witchcraft to sort out bad relationships.

Early last year, recruits in an anti-witchcraft unit within Saudi Arabia’s powerful religious police began a new training course on theoretical and practical aspects of countering sorcery and the black arts, the practice of which is punishable by death, according to the Emirates 24/7 news site.

They completed a five-day course on combating magic at the headquarters of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in the Gulf Kingdom’s capital, Riyadh,

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