I bought these Hand of Fatima charms at a bead shop in Leesburg, VA last spring. They sat alone in a little dish in the midst of dishes full of crosses and hearts and ponies. I took them home to make into earrings, intending them for a day when I felt hopeful that peace and protection of the helpless might vanquish evil.
Tiling at a training center in Tripoli, Libya
Muammar Gaddafi's demise offers hope of peace in Libya, and the uprising in Libya offers hope of a new path toward freedom in many countries where suffering abounds.
I've read about the Hand of Fatima in Islamic cultures, the Hand of Miriam in Hebrew lore, and even the Hand of Mary in Catholicism. The open hand has been symbolic of protection in many cultures and religions, including in the worship of Ishtar, Isis and Osiris, and Buddha.
So many faiths share common symbols and desires for safety and benevolence. The human hand, raised to call for peace and justice, is a beautiful emblem.