The informant is a good friend of mine who attends California State University, Northridge where she is studying to become an occupational therapist. She is a second generation American citizen who was born and raised in Burbank, California. Her parents came to the United States from Egypt shortly before she was born. She is a Muslim and can read, write, and speak Arabic fluently.
The evil eye is like a jinx caused by jealousy and envy that allows one to hurt or damage others by looking at them. The concept is a mix of culture and religion. When you see something nice and give a compliment, like for example someone has nice hair instead of saying “oh my gosh she has such nice hair ugh…” you’re supposed to say “she has such nice hair, masha’Allah” which is an Arabic word that means like “wow look at what God created!”and it’s supposed to repel the evil eye of the jinx in jealousy.
This is a good moral custom to stress the importance of staying away from jealousy and envy. Although, no one has the magical powers to harm someone simply by looking at them. This belief also has multiplicity and variation as well. It is found in other cultures and religions across the world, each with their own little twist to it. This belief has also helped tourism by the fact that small items are sold in various places which are artistic in nature but also said to have the ability to ward off the evil eye.