…and he’s absolutely right. The existence of the jinn has been acknowledged for thousands of years. They are recognized in the Koran. We may not know if they exist for certain, but the point is that we don’t know that they don’t exist. Follow? There are many things in this world that remain unexplained. Just because we don’t have the answers doesn’t mean there is no substance to the question. My recent series of books, 101 Nights, explains the existence of Jinnistan and their resident jinn as a parallel dimension separated from us by the fluctuation and cohesion of electrons and protons: disassemble matter in one spot and reassemble it in another and it may very well come together as a lithe and lovely jinni named Amani or a large and fearsome figure … that would be Sumer.
There are plenty of anecdotal examples of their existence and Mr. bin Jleid mentions some in his column in the Saudi Gazette of November 29, 2014. While I sympathize with him that some of the stories seem ridiculous, isn’t that the very point he’s railing against? Who’s to decide what seems ridiculous? Check out these examples he cites. (What do you believe?)
THE international and Arab media last week published a story and photograph of a boy who is said to be Saudi. The boy’s father had taken the photograph and on seeing it several days later, discovered a smiling and naked jinn next to his son.
“And say, ‘O my Lord! I seek refuge with thee from the suggestions of the Evil Ones. And I seek refuge with Thee O my Lord! Lest they should come near me.’” (Holy Qur’an verses 23:97-98).
Science is still incapable of detecting and monitoring jinns. Some non-Muslim scientists deny the existence of jinns. Yet, some of us claim to have successfully photographed them with digital cameras?
The way the Western media portrays Saudis’ belief in jinns is a very disturbing; something needs to be done to prevent further mockery.
It is we who are responsible for this negative media coverage because it is the local media that is obsessed with publishing sensational news stories.
The practices of some of our journalists and newspapers require stern action and those guilty of ethical breaches should be banished from the profession for good.
Users on the immensely popular micro-blogging site, Twitter, regularly post jinn stories involving Saudis. I have read stories about jinns launching fireworks in Arqah Hospital and Saudis in their hundreds storming the hospital to evict them.
Then there was the Saudi sheikh who held a dialogue with a jinn live on air, and then there was the jinn who set a Saudi man’s home on fire 10 times, something that was confirmed by the Civil Defense.
Then there was the jinn in Al-Qassim who — after being cornered by a family using verses of the Quran — said, “I want to come out. I’m fed up after three years.
I have been sent by a Sudanese magician to you!” There was also the famous group of jinns who drove empty cars around Madinah.
Stories like these have made us become the laughing stock of both the Arab and foreign media. Also, let us not forget the sense of fashion displayed by some sheikhs and judges who are allegedly possessed by jinns during office hours.
These news stories are shameful and are not something that should be reported or taken seriously in an enlightened society. Such stories do not reflect the Saudi culture.
We believe in the existence of jinns as mentioned in the Holy Qur’an and by the Prophet (peace be upon him). As for the news items that are being circulated, most are simply creating confusion.
I don’t know whether we should apologize to everyone who has read such stories or the jinns whom we have wronged.
Read the text of Mr. bin Jleid’s column in the Saudi Gazette from November 29, 2014.
And if you’re intrigued by the possibility, read my books.
It was nearly a year ago that Saudi news reports acknowledged that an eerie figure caught on security cameras could be a jinni. The sighting occurred in Makkah (Mecca) in October 2013, right before the sacred pilgrimage of the Hajj, when Muslim faithful journey to this birthplace of Muhammad. That’s right…just a year ago. The presence of the jinni is still accepted in a civilized land. And why not? The rest of the world generally accepts the presence of the otherworldly in the form of spirits, angels, ghosts, and fairies. The report also noted that the unidentified figure could be a ghost. There is a type of jinni known as a ghul that appears in ethereal, rather ghostlike, form. Ghuls are recognized to be generally harmless, though they can be mischievous. Jinn, which are mentioned in the Qu’ran, are also believed to have the capacity for devotion to Islam. Perhaps they, too, seek to pay their respects to their faith.
What is amazing to me is that the Emirates 24/7 News reported this story along with a photograph. They linked the appearance to the impending Hajj. This year, Hajj occurs between October 2nd and 7th. We are less than a month away from the pilgrimage. I don’t know about you, but I’ll stay tuned to Arab media for more reports about the “jinn on the go.”
Read more about the jinn and how they might live and love in my books. Start with my 101 Nights series! The first book is To Have and To Hold, followed by Reluctant Rapture, Ties That Bind, and Dangerous Devotion. You can also meet the classically conceived jinni, Zubis, in The Genie Ignites, from Boroughs Publishing Group.
As I do my research into what is known about the realm of the jinn, I’m always on the lookout for archaeolgical links to places that may have a mysterious history; locations whose lore or legends lend themselves to jinn occupation. Mazraat Beit Jinn in the foothills of Mount Hermon is such a place. Translated from Arabic, Mazraat Beit Jinn means Farm in the Jinn House. There is a nearby town simply called Beit Jinn, which means House of the Jinn. Why? Why would residents of long ago give such a name to this windswept, sparsely populated desert outpost? Were the jinn here? There’s no answer now. Beit Jinn is a small village among a cluster of small villages southwest of Damascus having a total population of just over 2,000 souls. At one time, however, it sat along the route of the Silk Road. Once it was vibrant. Once, it might have hosted the jinn.
Not far from Beit Jinn, northeast of Damascus, lies Palmyra. And here, there are more remnants that lore credits to the handiwork of the jinn. Although located in the arid center of a desert, Palmyra employed a system of elaborate dams and cisterns 2,000 years ago to bring water to more than 100,00 inhabitants. A pretty big feat. Unless you have some jinn working for you. And here’s some literary evidence to support that theory:
“Rise up and go into the world to release it from error and send word to the Jinn and I will give them leave to build Tadmur with hewn stones and columns.” ~God said to Solomon according to the pre-Islamic Arab poet Nabigha al Dhubyain.
Tadmur is the Arabic name for Palmyra.
Here’s my theory. The jinn were active in the desert thousands of years ago. They claimed it as their own. They helped humans to build magnificent cities to provide respite from the heat. They didn’t care that conditions could be harsh and inhospitable. They were the jinn: great engineers. They tapped into the wadi, reservoirs of water beneath the sand; they erected cool marble halls; they brought elegance and civility to the desert. They worked with humans, but humans became more numerous. When Solomon was given control of the jinn nearly three thousand years ago, the game changed. They built his temple (there are allusions to this in the Christian Bible) and some other cities (Petra and Meda’in Salah among them). Here, we get back to Beit Jinn. While the jinn moved about from such locations as Palmyra in the north to Petra in the south, they would have resided at towns along the way. Towns that would forever bear the memory with such names as Beit Jinn and Mazraat Beit Jinn. But the jinn were seen increasingly as a threat. They were no longer needed. They withdrew. Where are they now?
You can certainly find them in my novels. Check out The Genie Ignites and 101 Nights for some fictional insight on what the realm of the jinn might be like. Sadly, to travel to Syria now is to risk getting caught in the civil strife there. News accounts report that the ancient citadel of Palmyra and those in Aleppo have been damaged by mortar fire. Hopefully, a resolution will soon be found so that this wonderful history isn’t lost forever.
Amani Zarin is a real genie housewife and the star of 101 Nights from Boroughs Publishing Group. She’s relocated from Jinnistan to Jersey to figure out a way to save her homeland. After a sensual wedding night, she settles into a suburban life of swinging neighbors, wandering deer, afternoon champagne cocktails, an angry genie ex, and a scientist husband who monitors her every move. Can she last for 101 Nights or will she bring down the house with a flick of a fiery finger? Reluctant Rapture is the second book in the 101 Nights romance series. The first book is To Have and To Hold. Each book is only $1.99 from Boroughs Publishing Company.
I just got word today that my book, which is published by Boroughs Publishing Group, was ranked among the top three for my category, which was Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal. The Abalone Awards recognize “outstanding ethno-cultural romance.” While Zubis is a jinni and Bethany is a human, the cultural issue in The Genie Ignites is the divide between her Western world and his Eastern view, which is steeped in the legend, traditions, history, food, and lifestyle of the Middle East. But true love sees no color, sees no difference in how the heart loves. I’m so honored that my novel was selected. The winner will be announced at the Romance Writers of America (RWA) National Conference in July. It’s time to make a wish.
Go download your copy of The Genie Ignites. It is the first book in The Zubis Chronicles series. I think you’ll like it.
The second book, The Genie Smolders, is due out in May.
A Reader’s Review blog hosts me and my genie obsession today. Go check out it and follow the blog for great book recommendations!
Originally posted on areadersreviewblog:
Today we welcome author Kellyann Zuzulo to share with us the truth about genies….. Over to you Kellyann!
The allure of the desert, whether it’s Vegas or the Sahara, taps some primitive heat in all of us. I know it does for me. The jinn, or genies, have been around for thousands of years. The Thousand and One Nights (also known as The Arabian Nights) brought these entities out of oral myth and into literature. Eventually, Western society got wind of these freeflying phantoms. Unfortunately, we turned them into bluish cartoons when all the research (yes, there is research on genies) says they are very similar to humans.
What a perfect antagonist for a romance! A guy who’s smart, powerful, alluring, and magical. That’s the basis for a heartthrob if ever there was one. In my novel The Genie Ignites, Zubis is that hero. Did you know that…
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…just don’t let Amani Zarin hear you calling her a housewife. She’s tough and she has a temper, so she’ll probably do fine in her new suburban home with her new suburban husband, Jason Masters. She’s a beautiful genie. He’s a handsome scientist. And they have 101 Nights to figure out a way to save her homeland, secure his research, make toast without setting the house on fire, and generate some magic. Jason never dreamed of this genie but she will keep him awake at night.
So that’s it in a nutshell: my new book. I really hope you’ll download it. To Have and To Hold is the first installment in the 101 Nights series. It’s $1.99. And if you like it, tune in for next month’s release called Reluctant Rapture.
If you have a Kindle, head on over to Amazon now and download it!
What Would You Wish For?
A new movie that was hailed as a groundbreaking film for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) film industry disappeared from the line-up at commercial theaters in December. That movie is called Djinn and tells the story of “An Emirati couple return home from a trip and discover that their new apartment has been built on a site that is home to some malevolent beings.”
Of course, I’m eager to see this film. It’s more research for me, accompanied by popcorn. I’d love to see a popular cinematic interpretation of the jinn. But it’s not to be. My mind runs right to supernatural sabotage. But that’s just my fiction imagination in overdrive….or is it? According to this article in The Guardian, the more likely reason is that UAE royal family found the film objectionable because of certain politically subversive messages. Here’s the reasoning in The Guardian article:
Then Djinn vanished. It didn’t appear at the Dubai film festival, where it had been offered a red-carpet premiere. Promised spring and summer 2012 release dates came and went. It was puzzling: shooting on the story – a Rosemary’s Baby-esque spooker set in a fishing village redevelopment in Ras al-Khaimah – was nearly a year back; post-production almost six months gone.
After Djinn’s Cannes launch in 2010 hailing the country’s entry into the commercial fast-lane and the early rash of publicity in government-sponsored publications, the silence was deafening. With Hooper’s imprimatur and an intriguing collision of modern genre thrills and traditional Arabic culture, Djinn had the potential finally to bring global attention to the fledgling UAE film scene ; “a much-awaited film for all our distributors around the world”, Fortissimo, Image Nation’s international sales agent, was saying. But come the end of the year, more tumbleweed.
Shortly after the London screening, an Italian website, Moviesushi, printed a possible reason for Djinn’s disappearance. According to a source on the production: “Someone close to Abu Dhabi’s royal family has seen the movie and does not appreciate its portrayal of the UAE, and considers the movie to be politically subversive.” The old suspicion surrounding the Emirati industry had risen again: that it was too tightly supervised from above (usually through the National Media Council censorship body) to blossom freely.
This excuse is immediately countered. Other views contend that the Arab Spring heightened Arab pride to the point where there would be little interest in a Western-packaged take on cultural legends. Who really knows? An actual genie might.
The latest news says that Djinn will be released in 2013. We’ll see. I’m rubbing my lamp and waiting for the popcorn to pop.
Meanwhile, another film called Djinn was released in 2008 that tells the story of a beautiful woman who is snatched by a genie and must be rescued by her true love who must cross the “three valleys of the Black Desert” to save her. I saw it. It’s okay. For a better story, I think you should pick up The Genie Ignites. ; )
What Would You Wish For?
Her name is Amani Zarin, not Jeannie, but she is a genie. The difference is that she’s independent, a reluctant roommate to Masters (that’s Jason Masters), sometimes surly, and absolutely refuses to wear her hair in a high ponytail. 101 Nights is my new romance novel being delivered in a series of Romantisodes from Boroughs Publishing Group. Episode One, To Have and To Hold, will be released on March 16th. Please pick it up. Read it over. I think you’ll enjoy it.
For love or for science? When genie ambassador Amani Zarin reluctantly agrees to work with human scientist Jason Masters to save her homeland, she never factored in the force of magnetic attraction…or the heart. The heat they generate could start a fire that will either bind them forever or incinerate their neighborhood and possibly their respective worlds.
Against a backdrop of conniving board members, hostile genies, and nosey suburban neighbors, Amani and Jason must navigate their loyalties and their own stubborn hearts to achieve wedded bliss…at least for 101 Nights.
In the meantime, pick up THE GENIE IGNITES for a heart bursting tale of cross-cultural love.