Do “A3mal” Really Exist? Are “Witches” Mentally Ill Humans?

By: Rawan Aboseif

You may have heard this word a lot in Egyptian drama; specially if a guy is too attached to a girl, the mother’s favorite line would be “تلاقيها عملاله عمل ولا سحراله“. A concept that light does not shine upon very frequently, despite its major causes of damage. According to Islam,  Christianity, Hinduism, and several other religions a3mal, possessions, curses, and any other sources of inhuman connections do exist. A3mal are a bit similar to possessions; it is recruiting a jinn to perform a certain task, wether useful or harmful but mostly harmful. Usually, you need a witch or wizard to perform the ritual for you, in order to make the jinn your ‘servant’. Also, we’ve seen possession in several Hollywood films, such as The Conjuring, Annabelle, or an upcoming movie, The Nun. So, do they really exist according to local and international movies and shows?

Let’s start with discussing the two-part movie that had many people fearing to get out of their places, The Conjuring. In the first movie, a witch cursed her house after killing her own son and before she commits suicide in front of it, leading to the possession of every mother that lived in the house afterwards that get her to murder her own child and kill herself too. After feeling the inhuman spirits in the house and getting exposed to a few ‘unusual’ incidents, the mother of the new family reaches out for a priest and his wife to help her out. Towards the end of the movie, an exorcism is performed in order to take the spirit of the witch out of the mother, who in fact almost killed her own daughter. Then, in the second movie, it has a similar concept with a different family, but they are fleeing from a much worse curse done by a Nun on the old guy who used to live in that house, whose own movie we are expecting soon in September. That curse was supposedly going to kill Ed Warren, the priest who performed all the exorcisms, told the stories, and kept artifacts of the incidents, but he was saved by his wife Lorraine. One more bewildering case of theirs is that of Annabelle, the doll that still exits and is still cursed until today. This curse ws supposed to have started when a couple about it, and their next night their sleep was interrupted by the cries for help. Then, a woman enters their house bleeding, and curses Annabelle before she dies on top of her. The couple noticed Annabelle’s possession after their baby was born. They throw her away, and it reaches a pair of nurses, who report her powers to Ed and Lorraine, after seeing her move between rooms, write on walls, and nock on their door after throwing her out in the trash. Annabelle is kept in a glass case in a museum, still cursed.

Paranormal Activity is considered one of the scariest horror movies. Its discusses the lives of different families that move in to different houses t figure out soon that the house is possessed. The characters that try to get rid of those possessions are killed towards the end of all the movies of the Paranormal Activity series. The scariest part is that the movies are based on records done by members of the family themselves; the victims seemed to have an interest of recording their lives, not knowing what they should expect.

Getting to the Egyptian drama, it is only appropriate to start with Kafr Delhab, the 2017 ramadan series written and acted as a doctor named Saad by Youssef El-Sherif. The serious starts by Dr. Saad’s visit to the rich, possessed girl and describes her case to be psychological. However, he starts believing that it is a curse that has hit the Kafr after the inhumane rape and murder of a poor, peasant girl, who used to work as a prostitute, named Rihanna. Towards the end of the series, we discover it was all a manipulative bluff done by Dr. Saad himself to revenge the death of his birth mom upon the hand of the unmerciful guards. On the other hand, in the finale, we figure out that Delhab, the demon that haunts the lake surrounding the Kafr, has taken over Saad’s mind and blinded him with the idea of seeking revenge instead of going with the lawful, legal ways.

Then we have Sahert EL Ganoob, the young, beautiful farmer girl, who is possessed by a demon that gets her to do anything she wants to do, and everything ‘he’ wants her to do. He drives her to wreck stuff, destroy relationships, burn down houses, and other stuff. Whomever upsets her has got something coming for him before the day passes. This jinn has possessed her after she had been living with a witch for several years, and he was one of the strongest jinn. The jinn would be represented as Rouh’s, the framer girl, eyes would turn completely black, her voice would change, and she would start crying blood. By the end of the series, 3 or 4 of the people she knew gather and perform something similar to an exorcism and get that jinn out of Rouh.

The jackpot of all is Abwab El-Khof by Amr Waked. It was the first horror drama series ever produced in an Arabian country. It discusses the life of Adam Yassin, a journalist who sees nightmares about the lives of people who were either possessed, cursed, did a3mal, or were acquainted with jinn in any way. There was an episode about a camera that kills anyone whose photo is taken by it. Another about ladies who ‘murdered’ a jinn while calling him to our world, so his wife/ “خليلته” comes back seeking revenge and murdering those ladies. Another about a haunted painting of a women called “Mama Fayza”, who was supposedly a servant at one of Mohammed Ali’s descendants’ house. Fayza served her queen faithfully, until her queen figured out she was infertile. The queen tok Fayza’s daughter by force and Fayza was never heard of again. She came back haunting her painting and taking away other people’s daughter to the other world. One episode discussed an old ladies obsession with doing a3mal for everyone that surrounds her; however, she becomes crazy and goes mute after her only son’s acknowledgment of her deeds and leaving her.

Something common between them all, wether local or international, was the fact that all children would be the first to realize the existence of a foreign spirit, would be the worst harmed, yet the last ones. Kids seemed very protected in films and series that included any form of inhuman activity. It was also common that they are the ones wanted most by jinn. One more common thing is that the spirit does not end. Annabelle still exists with her spirit. The house of The Conjuring movie is still possessed and preferred not to be visited. The museum that Ed Warren has established of the artifacts he has taken from every case of spiritual activity he got involved in still receives visitors under certain rules. The major rule is to never touch anything, and, to make sure of that, all items are locked in glass protective cases and surrounded by caution ropes. So, I think it is pretty clear that a3mal do exist. People who perform them are not necessarily mentally unstable or crazy. They might be of evil nature, or possessed themselves from things they have done, such as talking to yourself in the mirror, or in the bathrooms, or calling upon spirits. Of course, jinn exist around us in our every move; thus, seeing something unusual around you is pretty normal. Still, you should be alarmed when too much of it happens and on a personal levels.                                                                                                                                                                                       


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