Author: Gerda Sengers
This rich ethnographic study describes the nearly impossible challenge of the daily existence of women in the poor neighbourhoods of Cairo. When these women fall ill they often put the blame on beings from an invisible world that invaded their body (possession), and they seek the help of traditional healers in the Zar ceremony or Koran healing. This book examines in detail the links between cosmology, power and gender. It tackles questions such as ‘what is possession, what is being said with it, and what does society have to do with it?’. The author, who lived a long time in various poor areas of Cairo, attended many sessions of Koran healing and participated in the Zar ceremony. She observed and interviewed many possessed women, as well as healers and other ‘demon specialists’.