Photos: Hand Knockers in Jordan


hand door knocker

While traveling throughout the Middle East I saw many doors graced with hands.  However I never really got the full story on the hand knockers.  Some people say it’s the Hand of Fatima and it’s supposed to protect your home from evil.  However one of my favorite explanations was that the hands knockers were either male or female hands.  A female knocker had a different sound than a male hand knocker.  Many doors had both at one time (a female and a male door knocker hand).  Visitors were supposed to used the correct gender hand to knock so that people knew if it was a man or a woman at the door.  If it was a man knock, then a woman (presumably Muslim) wasn’t allowed to open the door.  If it was a female knock then a Muslim woman could answer the door.

I honestly have no idea if this was a true story or not…but I liked it, so I chose to believe it!  I’ve tried to do further online research about the history of these knockers, but haven’t come across any real answers.  Regardless – I thought they were beautiful to photograph and it allowed me to use the phrase – “Look at those knockers!”

door knocker

Sherry Ott
Sherry Ott is a refugee from corporate IT who is now a long term traveler, blogger, and photographer. She’s a co-founder of, a website offering career break travel inspiration and advice.

Additionally, she runs an around the world travel blog writing about her travel and expat adventures at
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