Sunday, July 03, 2005

Harmony: Hand of Fatima

Strange to tell, the genisis of the Harmony project came not from Bono's headband, but from a weekend break we took in Lille last year. The symbol that we have subsequently identified as the "Hand of Fatima" is one that we puzzled over in the market.

This ancient symbol is used as a protective amulet by both Jews and Muslims. The Jewish name, Hamsa, is derived from the Semitic root meaning "five." It is called the Hand of Fatima by Muslims, named for the daughter of Mohammed.

In recent years some activists for Middle East peace have chosen to wear the hamsa as a symbol of the similarities of origins and tradition between the Islamic and Jewish faiths. That is how we will use it in the harmony cylce where it will take us from the Star of David to Islam and the Star and Crescent.

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