Fortune teller Abdel Latif keeps Lebanon glued to TV

- Give Up Coffee For Beautiful Breasts
- Welcome to your First Trimester
- Welcome to your Second Trimester
- Welcome to your Third Trimester

As the clock ticked towards midnight on New Year's Eve, Leila Abdel Latif, a Lebanese fortune teller, sat under the glaring lights of a television studio here and unveiled to viewers across the Arab world what 2015 held in store.

Wearing a black pantsuit and a diamond necklace, Abdel Latif peered through reading glasses and read from a 5cm-thick stack of cards, stating her predictions.

Chaos would rock Beirut. Blacks and whites would clash in the United States. A band would win international fame for reviving the hits of Michael Jackson.

Such predictions have put Abdel Latif among the most prominent of the self- declared soothsayers who appear on competing Lebanese television channels in what has become a widely watched New Year's Eve tradition in the Arab world.

In a region where religious extremism is on the rise and many governments criminalise divination, Lebanon stands apart for giving its fortune tellers a prominent role. Besides entertaining, they often give private consultations to powerful officials. Abdel Latif says her clients have included ministers, kings and presidents, although she refuses to discuss names.

During an interview, the chatty, 55- year-old mother of two was dismissive of other divination efforts. "I don't believe in horoscopes, tarot or palm reading," she said. "Every person has the sixth sense, but some people are stronger than others."

Even though divination is deemed a sin in Islam, she calls herself a devout Muslim and considers her revelations a gift. "God gives the blessings of wealth, intelligence and health. This is the blessing of vision."

Her holiday show is the yearly highlight of her monthly programme, History Sees, on Lebanon's LBC network. It kicked off this year with cherry-picked predictions from recent years followed by news clips appearing to show them coming true.

She sometimes predicts moves that are made soon after by Lebanese politicians, raising suspicions that officials tip her off to give their actions an air of destiny.

While she denies accepting payment from officials, her fame clearly gets her perks. During the show, she thanked a Lebanese jeweller for her necklace and the designer who made her outfit, predicting he would win international prizes.

Lina Khatib, director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, said a combination of Lebanon's relative social openness and the uncertainty of life there has helped make it the capital of fortune- telling in a region where many countries jail accused sorcerers. "When people don't have faith in the safety net of social institutions, they turn to these clairvoyants to find out what happens next."

Abdel Latif made her first television appearance 20 years ago and her record is mixed.

She claims to have foreseen the Sept 11 attacks, although there is no evidence that she did. She once predicted "people wearing black at the Hariri palace". Soon after, Rafik Hariri, then the prime minister, was killed in a car bombing. But she also predicted last year that Mr Abdel- Fattah el-Sissi would not become president of Egypt, which he did in June.

When asked about predictions that failed to pan out, Abdel Latif says they need more time and compares herself with Nostradamus, the storied French seer who is credited by some with predicting world events centuries in advance.

While maintaining that her success rate is between 75 and 90 per cent, she admitted that she sometimes misses. "We are all human in the end," she said.

 
Others
 
- CW Network is now pregnant with promise
- Freaky Lange steals the Show
- Bono may never play guitar again
- Madonna hits back at criticism of ‘bondage’ images
- Vinyl bright spot in US music sales
- Raspy rocker takes on Choir Boy
- Star attractions keep theatre alive
- Kanye West partners Paul McCartney
- Review Fantasy-action : SEVENTH SON (PG13) - Same old magic formula
- Review Drama : THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY: THEM (PG13) - Outside look inside relationship
 
 
 
Youtube channel
Top Search
- Losing Weight In A Week With Honey
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- 9 Bad Habits That Can Cause Miscarriage
- Grape Is Pregnant Women’s Friend
- What Is Placenta Calcification
- 7 Kinds Of Fruit That Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Eat
- Do Not Miss Sugarcane Juice In Pregnancy
 
Top 10
- Omega 3 fatty acids – what’s all the fuss about ? (part 3) - DHA supplements
- Omega 3 fatty acids – what’s all the fuss about ? (part 2) - Docosahexaenoic acid
- Omega 3 fatty acids – what’s all the fuss about ? (part 1) - The science bit, Alpha linolenic acid
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Labor and Delivery (part 15) - When You’re Overdue
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Labor and Delivery (part 14) - Baby’s Birth Presentation
 
 
 
Recipes
- Healthy Recipes for a Vegan Pregnancy : Sides (part 17) - Caramelized Baby Carrots, Roasted Garlic, Zucchini, and Onions
- Chocolate Covered Naartjies - Cauliflower Carpaccio With Watercress And Almond Dressing - Avocado Mousse Topped With Cauliflower And Bacon Crumbs (part 2)
- RECIPE Orange Cointreau jellies : Golden dessert to beat the glut
- BBQ Chicken Around The World (Part 2) - Beer can chicken
- Healthy Recipes for a Vegan Pregnancy : Vegan Breakfasts (part 8) - Vegan Crepes, Tofu Florentine, Quick Hollandaise Sauc uick Hollandaise Sauce, Potato Poblano Breakfast Burritos
- Midweek Meals - These Dishes Promise Smooth Sailing (Part 2) - Lemon and thyme lamb with warm pumpkin salad
- Grill Happy Healthy Family Dinners (Part 5) - Pork and plum skewers
- Healthy Recipes for a Vegan Pregnancy : Soups and Stews (part 4) - Ten-Minute Cheater’s Chili, Thai Tom Kha Coconut Soup , Cold Spanish Gazpacho with Avocado
- Winter Favourites New Ideas Cooking (Part 2) - Mac ’n’ cheese with pumpkin
- Celebrate Christmas Soon In July (part 2) - Roast pumpkin, fennel & brussels sprouts
- Healthy Recipes for a Vegan Pregnancy : Desserts (part 6) - Foolproof Vegan Fudge, Cocoa-Nut-Coconut No-Bake Cookies , Cheater’s Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
- Budget Meal Planner For This Week (Part 1) - Monday - Spinach & Sausage Penne
- Budget Meal Planner For This Week (Part 5) - Friday - Rendang Beef Noodles
- Homegrown Treasures Time To Harvest (Part 2) - Beetroot & shallot tatins
- Get To Know Your Salad (part 2) - Greens & Berry Salad