Name & Logo
The Samaritan Cookbook springs from a partnership going back to 2007.
We’ve been using the concept of “One Semitistan” for over a decade, describing our movement to promote the cultural unity and oneness of the Semitic peoples.
The suffix stan — though Indo-European — is globally understood to mean the space belonging to a certain group. Our name provides a symbolic, apolitical way to distinguish the spirit of the Semites from the other surrounding ethnolinguistic traditions.
The term “Semitic” comes from Noah’s son Shem: in Arabic Saam, سام ; in Hebrew Shem, שֵׁם ; and in Ge’ez Sem, ሴም. “Shem” in fact comes from the Semitic root S-M meaning “name.”
The symbol that we created to represent our cross-cultural mission has ancient origins, as we used versions of the Semitic letters that emerged around 4,000 years ago.
Initially from Egyptian hieroglyphics, the characters in the Sinaitic script circa 1600 B.C.E. made their way from Sinai to the Levant, evolving by 1200 B.C.E. into the Proto-Canaanite alphabet — the ancestor of Phoenician and paleo-Hebrew.
Pictorial drawings of things were transformed into the letters for just the first sound in the vocalized words for those same objects.
The essence of our branding is the fusion of ancient letters in one icon — the coexistence in one dwelling of two cousins, who are the same but different. The imagery also evokes the confluence of a mountain and a river, the earth and the sea.
Specifically, the logo is a modern incarnation of the two letters that spell the first part of Semitistan.
The first letter in “Shem” is shin, “sh” or “s,” which is the 21st letter in the Semitic alphabets. The glyph was based on a tooth, sin, and the later pictograms still reflect the original meaning.
Proto-Canaanite: Phoenician: [ ] Hebrew: [ש] Aramaic: [ ] Arabic: [ش]
For One Semitistan the “tooth” theme is central to our purpose: eating, speaking, making music.
The second letter in “Shem” is mem, “m,” the 13th letter in the Semitic alphabets. This is rooted in the illustration of water, may or maym, and the image is clearly evocative of waves.
Proto-Canaanite: Phoenician: [ ] Hebrew: [מ] Aramaic: [ ] Arabic: [ـمـ]
Water sustains life, connecting us to our heritage and bringing together past and future.