Friday, September 24, 2010

Star of David for Jews and Muslims

I've seen what looked to me like the Star of David built into fencing a couple times here and was puzzled since I had thought this was a Jewish symbol.  In fact, it is also a symbol in Islam too, as well as in Hinduism and Buddism.  The Arabic word for the symbol is نجمة داوود, pronounced Najmat Dāwūd, which means Star of David, or it can also be called خاتم سليمان, pronounced Khātem Sulaymān, which means Seal of Solomon.  From what I just read, the Seal of Solomon was referring to Solomon, son of David, who was a prophet in Islam. 

The star is reportedly mentioned in the story the Arabian Nights.  

I've been reading about some of the symbolism associated with this star in various religions and it is fascinating.   The shape, consisting of two triangles, one pointing up and one down, is said by some to be a harmonious embrace.  It can also symbolize humans position between earth and sky.  Or the downward triangle can symbolize femininity with the upward triangle symbolizing masculinity, together representing the union of the two.

Some people believe this symbol wards off evil, which might explain why I've seen it twice in fences around the perimeters of buildings. 

On a different topic, Jeff, Cameron and I had dinner at the home of some friends we met at a church we've been attending here, the Maadi Community Church.  Conveniently, this church is only a 10 minute walk from our house. This is a nondenominational church (though basically Christian) which is proud to say they have members from 40 different countries.  Cameron loves going to church because there is a nice group of kids there and the children's teacher is wonderful.  I've stayed for part of the classes and they have some religious bopping kind of rock music in the beginning with the kids dancing, then a Bible story (-- the first day, it was about Moses being told by the burning bush to go to Egypt ..... the Bible stories take on new meaning when one is actually in Egypt!), then there's a discussion with the kids, then some kind of activity or game related to the theme.  It was really well done.   Cameron likes church so much that he said today, "Mommy, only three more days until it's time to go to church."  Little people really like routines so it's nice that we've found some things that can be part of a regular routine.

Anyway, a few expatriots from the church have been inviting us places and this was our first time to visit this one couple's home.  It was a very nice dinner with 12-15 people there.  There was a lovely harvest moon tonight and they had a beautiful view from their terrace:


No comments:

Post a Comment