SuperForester Maya and I just did a bit of research and have discovered the profound significance of the image displayed on the T-Shirt Julius posted earlier today. According to Islamic tradition, a “Buraq” is a miraculous steed that descends from the heavens to transport prophets. It is said that the biblical patriarch Abraham was carried from Syria to Mecca to visit his concubine Hagar and his son Ishmael. Later on, the Buraq also appeared to take Muhammad on his legendary night journey. During this journey, he traveled from Mecca to the “farthest mosque” in Jerusalem to pray. After this, he was carried up to the heavens where he met Allah and was given instructions on how to follow the Islamic faith. Today, the Buraq is seen as a mythological creature of great significance. So much so, that in countries such as Turkey, the name “Burak” or “Barack” is a common name given to male children.
Initially, we interpreted the T-Shirt Julius shared as a fantastical symbol of the mythological proportions that society has idealized Obama to be. He is depicted as a knight in a shining suit with a snazzy tie leading the country toward a brighter future.
Yes, Barack Obama may be the embodiment of a heroic knight, but we can propose that he is also the carrier (or the Buraq) of the legend itself. President-Elect Barack Obama has always made sure to give credit to his supporters for helping him achieve what some people believed would never happen in their lifetimes. He has even referred to them as “the wind beneath [his] wings”...how fitting!