The hamsa (also romanized khamsa, meaning lit. five) or
hand of Fatima (also called the hand of Miriam) is a palm-
shaped amulet popular throughout the Middle East and
North Africa. Khamsas come in great variety of designs and
sizes. The hand can be depicted with the fingers spread
apart to ward off evil, or as closed together to bring good
luck. The Hand (Khamsa) has long represented blessings,
power and strength and is thus seen as potent in deflecting
the evil eye. Hamsa hands often contain an eye symbol.
Depictions of the hand, the eye, or the number five is
related to warding off the evil eye.