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The evil eye  | © Brian Suda/Flickr
The evil eye | © Brian Suda/Flickr
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9 Superstitions Arabs Still Believe

Picture of Jessica Harn
Updated: 31 October 2017
Every single culture and ethnicity has some sort of superstition tradition that had been passed down through the years. Arabs too have their long and colorful tradition of superstitions, from what color to wear to what not to do once it’s dark. While each superstition should be taken with a pinch of salt, here are some of the superstitions still prevalent in Arab culture.

Being next to a cat will make you infertile

A common superstition told by mothers across the Middle East to newly-wed couples – being next to or being in contact with a cat will supposedly make you infertile. Cats in general tend to get a bad rap, so be prepared to defend your furry friend if inviting Arabs over.

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Beware of the cat! | ©Croswald9/flickr

Wearing socks to sleep will mess up your health

Although this might specifically be an Iraqi superstition, if sleeping over at an Arab house and you leave your socks on for bed, be prepared to get them ripped off by a worried Arab mother or aunt. Don’t ask specifically how wearing socks will kill you, just take their word for it.

Cutting your nails at night is back luck

If you suddenly get the urge to cut your nails at night, be sure not to do it around superstitious Arabs. Unless you want to get plagued by bad luck, you’ll have to learn to either do it discretely or in the morning if in an Arab country!

If you step over your brother, it’s also bad luck

Although the scenario seems unlikely, if you happen to find yourself in the position of having to step over your brother, don’t do it! According to Arab superstition it will bring you and your brother years of bad luck.

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Don’t even think about it! | ©Jody Morris/flickr

Stepping over onion peels means you’ll get in a big fight with your husband

Besides the fact that someone thought it was a good idea to leave a pile of onion peels on the kitchen floor, avoid stepping over onion peel as it will mean you and your husband will have a big argument. The Arabs might have this superstition right however, as anyone will probably feel a bit argumentative if accidentally stepping in a huge pile of vegetable peelings.

Wearing the color blue means no one can give you the evil eye

Another Arab superstition from the older generations is that if you wear the color blue, you’ll be protected from any kind of evil eye or jealously. Although just an opinion, many Arabs claim this is the reason why so many beautiful mosques are painted or decorated with the color blue.

Khamsa

You’ve probably seen this symbol and didn’t even know it’s a hugely popular superstition in the Arab world – the open hand, or khamsa, which protects you against any evil. Spreading your right hand open towards or in the face of evil is supposed to protect you from any harm.

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The khamsa symbol against the evil eye | ©just_a_cheeseburger/flickr

Spilling coffee is good luck – so don’t worry too much when having your morning fix!

In the West spilling your morning coffee will probably signal having a bad day but Arabs will disagree! Spilling coffee is seen as good luck for the superstitious Arab, and will be welcomed with laughs and jokes instead of the usual cursing and complaining.

Entering a home with your right foot will always bring good fortune

When entering a home of an Arab person, if they are superstitious enough they might be checking out which foot you enter with! Entering a home with your right foot is said to bring good fortune to both you and the home owners, so try to remember that next time you’re invited to your Arab friend’s house.