Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Searching for Answers

Once patronised largely by the uneducated, fortune-tellers' are now appealing to wider section of the population, particularly women.
Reporter Yasemin Ahmed visited one of the best-known fortune-tellers in Mosul. She counted tens of women waiting for consultations.

Um Ghazwan, a school teacher, said she hoped she'd be told the fate of abducted relatives, as the police and the security forces had not been able to tell her anything.

The show interviewed Dr Ibtisam Saadoun, an educational psychologist, who said that women go to fortune-tellers when they need to overcome personal problems and other difficulties in their lives. But she cautioned that the such a reliance was not healthy because it results in women suspecting every thing and everyone, even her family.

In a feature by Zahra al-Asady, Dr Samir Abdulhamid agreed that women go to fortune-telling to seek solutions to complex situations, especially social problems and marriage difficulties. But Um Saja, a civil servant, criticised those who do so, saying they are wasting their time and money.

More IWPR's Global Voices

It's Hard to Be An Uzbek Pop Star
Conservative values and censorship means that artists and performers are tightly regulated.
IWPR Holds Central Asia Expert Forum
Armenia Declares War on Thieves-in-Law