The Hand of Fatima

The Khamsa in the Arab-Islamic World


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The Hand of Fatima traces the development and symbolism ascribed to the hand motif in the Arab and Islamic world, and beyond. Richly illustrated, it details the many types of khamsas produced historically and today – such as khamsas with swords, and khamsas with eagles – and the many objects on which khamsas appear, such as on amulets and flags. It traces the journey of the khamsa into the contemporary world of social and fine art, including museum highlights. Special sections are dedicated to the khamsa in Algeria; cultural crossover in Spain, Portugal, and Brazil; and the symbol of the hand in Shiʿism.

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Eva-Maria von Kemnitz, PhD, was Professor of Arab and Islamic History and Civilisation at the Portuguese Catholic University. She published on Al-Andalus, cultural and diplomatic relations between Europe and the Arab-Islamic world, Arab Studies, Orientalism, and Islamic art and heritage.

Amina Inloes has a PhD in Arab & Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter. She is the author of Women in Shiʿism and has translated works on Islamic spirituality, exegesis, and esotericism.
Specialists in Islamic studies, Shiʿism, Muslim ethnography, Islamicate occultism, Islamic/Middle Eastern/North African art, as well as museum curators, artists, and art and jewellery sellers.
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