Hamsa means “five” in Hebrew. The hamsa is a symbol used in charms and jewelry for protection, it is also known as the protecting hand. An alternative Jewish name for the hamsa is the hand of Miriam, referring to Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron. One of the Islamic names for the charm is the hand of Fatima, in reference to Fatima Zahra, the daughter of Muhammad. In recent years, peace activists in the Middle East have chosen to wear the hamsa as a symbol of the similarities of origins and tradition between the Islamic and Jewish faiths. The hamsa can be worn with the fingers pointing up or down.