When traveling in North Africa; especially Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia or Egypt; you will see this symbol quite often:
It is called the Khamsa in Arabic while in french it takes the name of Main de Fatima (Fatima hand).
The Khamsa is considered as an amulet supposed to protect you from bad/envious people and bad luck. This hand with two thumbs, symbolizing the number 5, is nowadays still used. However its main purpose became decorative (as a jewelry) since God punishes superstition and idolatry.
Its origins has very deep roots since we found traces of it from the 13th century. It was already present and popular in north Africa before Islam, explaining why it is so anchored in a demography mainly Muslim.
Lucky charm or not, it is a great memory to bring to friends and family!
It meets all my requirement for memories:
- representative of the culture
- conservation and diet issues free!