Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cover #13: Pakistan: Aquarium Fishes issued on Universal Postal Union Day in 2004


Today we have a beautiful FDC with nice fishes from Pakistan to share with you. The FDC was issued on the eve of National Philatelic Exhibition Lahore 2004 which was held on Universal Postal Day in 2004. The set of Aquarium Fishes consists of 5 different types of fishes. These include the following:-

  • Yellow Dwarf Cichlid
  • Striped Gourami
  • Tiger Barb
  • Neon Tetra
  • Black Widow
I absolutely adore this prized possession in my collection. Beautiful piece of philately. Isn't it?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cover # 12: Pakistan FDC: 50 Years of Pakistan Ordnance Factories, Wah, 2001

Here is a beautiful First Day Cover (FDC) from Pakistan. The FDC was issued on 28 December 2001 on the eve of 50th Anniversary of Pakistan Ordnance Factories, Wah, Pakistan. The beautiful stamp falls into the military stamps category depicting charging infantry, moving tanks and various products of Pakistan Ordnance Factories including arms andammunition ofvarious calibres and weapons. 
 
The beautiful postmark used to cancel the FDC shows the monograms of three services of Pakistan namely Pakistan Army, Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Navy. The top centre monogram is of Pakistan Army. It shows two crossed swords with an increasing crescent and a star onthe top. The bottom right monogram is of Pakistan Air Force depicting a flying falcon and a star on top; where as on the bottom left is the monogram of Pakistan Navy featuring an anchor in the middle and a crescent and a star on top.

Brief History Of Pakistan Ordnance Factories:-

During their colonial rule in India, the British raised 16 Ordnance Factories. At the time of creation of Pakistan in 1947, we were unlucky that all the sixteen factories fell to Indian share. Newly created Pakistan with fragile state apparatus and fragmented armed forces had absolutely no arms and ammunition manufacturing facility to meet the security challenges to its sovereignty. 

The first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Khan Liaqat Ali Khan immediately realized this imbalance and issued directive within four months of creation of Pakistan to establish an ordnance factory to manufacture 303 rifle and its ammunition in Rawalpindi. Subsequently, the foundation stone of four workshops was laid by the second Prime Minister of Pakistan Khawaja Nazim ud din in the small town of Wah in December 1951. This was the first step towards the establishment of mother defence industry in Pakistan.

Today by the grace of God Almighty, Pakistan has fourteen big factories at Wah which are taking care of almost 100% requirements of our armed forces. This modern defence industrial complex, which is the oldest & largest in Pakistan defence production industrial system, later helped many other sister defence production setups to flourish. Resultantly today Pakistan has a reasonably good defence production potential in which Pakistan Ordnance Factories occupy the central position.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cover # 11: France FDC: Launch of Dial Satellite 1970

Here is a lovely FDC from France issued to commemorate the launch of Dial (Diamant Allemagne) satellite in 1970. The satellite was launched on 10th March 1970 and the stamp/FDC was issued on 28th March 1970. The Dial satellite was launched on a Diamant B launcher from Kourou into a 301 x 1631 km orbit inclined at 5.41 degrees. The German microsat was used to study the hydrogen geo-corona and the ionosphere. 

The data became difficult to intercept because of vibration damage caused during the launch. The satellite re-entered on 5th October 1978.

This beautiful FDC from France was sent to me by Jean-Michael from France.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cover # 10: Pakistan FDC: Athens Olympics 2004

A beautiful Pakistan FDC featuring Olympics stamps issued for XXVIII Athens Olympics 2004. The FDC was issued on the eve of the 2004 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad held in Athens, Greece from August 13 to August 29, 2004 with the motto "Welcome Home".  The motto depicted the fact that it was the first time since 1896 that the Olympics returned to Athens from where they initiated.

The cover featured a set of 4 stamps featuring Wrestling, Hockey, Boxing and Running. Interestingly from the above mentioned sports, Pakistan DID NOT participate in wrestling during Athens Olympics but took part in 5 sports in total including Hockey, Boxing, Running (Athletics), Shooting & Swimming. Unfortunately Pakistan did not manage to get a single medal (not even a plastic medal) during the games however Pakistan finished 5th in Hockey event (ahead of their arch-rivals India which finished 7th - ) ------ hehehe  ;)

10,625 athletes competed from 201 countries in the event. There were 301 medal events in 28 different sports

The 2004 Olympic Games emblem (as seen below) portrayed an olive wreath, or kotinos, a branch from an olive tree intertwined in a circle. The emblem is a reference to the ancient Olympic Games, where the kotinos was the official award of Olympic champions. In addition, the olive was the sacred tree of Athens. The colours of the emblem symbolise the shades of white and blue found in the Greek countryside.

The Athens games had two official mascots:  Athiná and Phévos (pronounced in Greek as Athina and Fivos). The sister and brother were named after Athenathe goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, while Phoebusthe god of light and music, respectively. They were inspired by the ancient daidala, which were dolls that had religious connotations as well as being toys.
United States topped the medals table with 102 medals including 36 Gold medals, China with 32 gold medals stood 2nd where as Russia managed to gain 3rd position by clinching 27 gold medals.

I have only one cover available with me which will be swapped in return of another nice FDC with Olympics theme with complete set of stamps. 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Help Needed!!! United Nations Stamps


Can someone tell me when this set of 4 stamps from United Nations was issued? Can I see them & other similar stamps on any online catalogue? What is their estimated cost? Please help!!!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Cover # 9: Pakistan FDC: 2001: 9th SAF Games, Islamabad


Hi friends!
Here is another INTERESTING FDC from Pakistan. The FDC was issued on 9 Aril 2001 to honor the 9th SAF Games (South Asian Federation Games) scheduled to be held in Islamabad, Pakistan in 2001. The interesting part was that the Games were NOT held in 2001 due to extreme tension & escalation of armies on the border between Pakistan and India. India refused to send its contigent to Pakistan for the games. The games were postponed again and again, until they were finally organized in 2004. 

I have already shared the extremely BEAUTIFUL FDC issued in 2004 to commemorate 9th SAF games with you. If you have missed that cool post then you can read it by following this link:


You definitely can not afford to miss this one.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Postcard # 8: Pakistan: Fasting Buddha in Lahore Museum

Here is a marvellous postcard from PakistanA Pakistani postcard featuring the statue of "Fasting Buddha" or "Starving Buddha" from 2nd century AD placed in Lahore Museum, Lahore

The Gandhara Fasting Buddha (Siddharatha) statue in Lahore Museum is considered to be the masterpiece of the earliest world and is given special importance. According to the legend, 
"The young prince Siddharatha left his palace in search of enlightenment and practised for six years such severe austerities and intense mental concentration that his beautiful body withered away to skin and bones. Ultimately he attained enlightenment at the age of thirty five and became known as the Buddha "The enlightened one". This resolve was illustrated for the first time in Gandhara art. This so called statue of Fasting Siddharatha ranks not only as the finest specimen of Gandhara Art, but also as one of the rarest antiquities of the earliest world."

In 1999, Pakistan Post also issued a set of 2 stamps featuring the Fasting Buddha on 21 July 1999. I will show you the FDC of the stamps in the near future.

Lahore Museum(photo above) is considered as one of the major museums in South Asia and was established in 1894 in Lahore, Pakistan. Here is an interesting fact about Lahore Museum - 
Rudyard Kipling's father John Lockwood Kipling, was one of the famous curators of Lahore Museum and the famous novel Kim was set in the vicinity of this museum.

Lahore Museum exhibits the recorded history of the subcontinent. Part of the collection was removed to India after Partition but this is still the biggest and the most impressive museum in Pakistan. The museum has 20 galleries with items dating from the Stone age to the 20th century. It is famous for its display of Gandharan sculpture (especially the fasting Buddha), manuscripts, Qurans, paintngs, carpets and Islamic art. The Museum also contains some fine specimens of Mughal and Sikh door-ways, wood-work and contains a large collection of paintings dating back to the Mughal, Sikh and British eras.

Cover # 8: France FDC, Isard 1971


Another cool FDC from France. The French stamp featured on the cover was issued on 24 April 1971. The stamp was issued as an effort for Nature Protection. The stamp and the FDC feature a beautiful animal called "Isard", somewhat like belonging to a deer family. Lovely addition in my collection.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cover #7: France, Harry Potter miniature sheet



Here is a beautiful real posted cover from France with beautiful Harry Potter miniature sheet. Harry Potter is one of my favorite characters in books and movies. I recommend Harry Potter books to everyone who is reading this post. The movies are also good but not as classic as the books. The set of 7 Harry Potter Books is a must-read for every book lover. The miniature sheet was issued in 2007. "Fete Du Timbre 2007" printed on the miniature sheet means "Celebration of Stamps 2007" or "Stamp Celebration 2007". Thanks Marie for the quick translation.

The remaining stamps pasted on the cover were also issued in 2005. The French stamps of 0.01, 0.05 and 0.10 Euro feature Marianne. Marianne is a symbol of Republican France. A marianne is a portrait of a proud and determined woman wearing a "Phrygian Cap". She symbolises the attachment of the common citizens of the revolution to the Republic - Marianne is liberty, egality and fraternity. The one shown on these stamps is Lamouche Marianne. Thanks to Michael Adam for this beautiful cover.



Postcard #7: North Korea, Flight Tower in Pyongyang

Hi!
Here is another postcard from a hard-to-find country. What a treat! A postcard from North Korea. The postcard shows a joy ride and the back of the postcard mentions the name of the ride as "Flight Tower" in Pyongyang, which is the capital of North Korea. I could not find more information onthis beautiful ride.

How many of you have a postcard from North Korea??? 

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Postcard #6: Water Skiing Resort, Kaptai Lake, East Pakistan (Bangladesh)

Here I have a beautiful vintage post card from East Pakistan (Now Bangladesh). The postcard shows a beautiful scene of water skiing at Lake Kaptai. It is a very old card as the back of the card reads: "Issued by Department of Tourism, Government of Pakistan, Club Road, Karachi". 

East Pakistan got separated from West Pakistan(Presently "Pakistan") and became Bangladesh in 1971. So it obviously is a postcard from 1971 or pre-1971 era. I don't know whether the water ski resort still exists there or not? Can a friend from Bangladesh enlighten all of us on the issue???

Kaptai Lake is a man-made lake in South-eastern Bangladesh. The H-shaped lake was created as a result of building of Kaptai Dam on the Kamaphuli River. The dam construction project started in 1956 and finished in 1962. The palace of the king ofthe Chakmas also came under water as a result of filling of the dam.

FDC #6: World Cycling Championship 1972; France



Another wonderful FDC from France is here for you. The FDC commemorates the event of World Professional (Elite) Road Cycling Championship held in Gap - a commune in Southeastern France. GAP is also in the run for hosting 2018 Winter Olympics.

The stamp and the FDC were issued on 22 July 1972. The race consisted of 272.564 km and the best time was 7 hours, 5 minutes and 59 seconds. 89 cyclists started the race but only 42 of them reached the finish line. It was surely a tough one. Isn't it?
Marino Basso of Italy won the Gold medal while his fellow Italian Franco Bitossi got Silver. The third position went to Cyrille Guimard of the host country France.
My sincere Thanks to Jean-Michel for sending me this beautiful FDC from France. 

Is this how a Parrot looks like???

It is said, "Much talking is the cause of danger. Silence is the means of avoiding misfortune. The talkative PARROT is shutup in a cage. Other birds without speech, fly freely about".

Here is another one of my die-hard efforts in the field of Origami - A parrot. I made the parrot while trying to spend some cool time with my daughters. Both of them enjoyed the making part but when it was completed, my elder daughter Noor (then 3 years old) exclaimed, "Dad! This is not how a parrot looks like"
I was stunned to hear the comments about my masterpiece. Then I realized that it was constructed with white paper. So I coloured it in green and red. Thank God! She agreed that it was really a PARROT.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

FDC #5: Wildlife Series "Ducks", Pakistan



Another beautiful FDC from Pakistan is here to give a treat to your eyes. A set of 4 Pakistan stamps was issued featuring water birds of Pakistan. These birds included:
  • Mallard (Anas Platyrthynchos)
  • Gadwall (Anas Strepera)
  • Greylag Goose (Anser Anser)
  • Common Shelduck (Tadorna Tadorna) - Also featured on the FDC
The Stamps were issued on 31 December 1992. They are really beautiful and a feast for the eyes. They were issued in a strange way as the sheet contained 16 stamps. 
The stamps were placed at different places in each row but the rainbow on top remained the same, which meant that all 16 stamps are unique. You can see a scan of the stamp sheet. I think that it is very rare to issue some stamps like this. Are there any other such examples or have you seen any such example anywhere in the world???

If you remove the stamp of "Common Shelduck (Tadorna Tadorna)" from every row then you can make a complete rainbow on top using these four stamps. Same is the case with other three ducks.

A Fish From the Local Pond

Here is just a beautiful piece of Origami which I made for my cute little sparrows. They love fish after watching "Finding Nemo". Can someone from Taiwan get me a set of two miniature sheets with "Finding Nemo" theme? The miniature sheets were issued in 2008. I am dying to lay my hands on them.....

Are there any other friends who like to create crafts by using paper or anything? If yes! What all? Just leave a comment.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

FDC #4: 7th Men's World Handball Championship 1970, France



Today I will share this beautiful FDC from France. The FDC was issued on the eve of 7th Men's World Handball Championship which was held in 1970 in France. The FDC features a beautiful stamp depicting a handball player. Three other players are also shown on the FDC envelope. 

An interesting thing which I noticed is that on the envelope, the shirt number of the player(in blue shirt) making the shot is inverted "9" or may be double-inverted "6". What do you say?

The FDC was issued on 21 February 1970 and it has been cancelled in the beautiful city of France - Paris.

The Championship was won by Romania getting the Gold medal, where as East Germany and Yugoslavia got Silver and Bronze medals respectively.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Postcard #5: The Great Mosque of Herat, Afghanistan



Here is another amazing, unique, gorgeous and hard-to-find postcard from a hard-to-find country Afghanistan. Afghanistan is located in the North-West of my beloved country Pakistan. Because of the decades long fighting in the country, millions of Afghans have migrated to Pakistan and most of the country has turned to ruins.  There are hardly any collectors or swappers left in the country.

The Afghanistan postcard features the beautiful "Great Mosque of Herat" or "Friday Mosque of Herat". Herat is a city located in Western Afghanistan and because of its fertile land, Herat is traditionally known for its wine. Its is the 2nd largest city of Afghanistan after Kabul. The city of Herat was also sumbitted as one of the properties on the tentative list for registeration as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.

The back of the above Afghanistan postcard shows that the postcard was published in 2001 by Afghan Art & Culture Saloon (AACS) in Kabul, Afghanistan. It is my first postcard from Afghanistan on the blog. I have some others as well including a beautiful Afghan postcard of a Buddha Statue in Bamiyan Valley, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. I will soon be sharing that postcard as well with you. If any of you want any Afghanistan Postcards for their collection, I can give it a try to find some for them. "Which one" remains an answered question till the time when any of you need it. ;)


Does anyone of you want a postcard from Afghanistan for your collection???


The construction work on the present Great Mosque of Herat was started initially by Ghurid ruler Ghiyath al-Din Muhammad b. Sam in 1200AD and afterwards completed by his successor and brother Shihab al-Din. In 13th century Cengiz Khan pillaged the province and the building fell to ruin. Rebuilding and renovations work/ programs were undertaken by the Kart rulers in 1306AD and again after the devastating earthquake in 1364AD.  It was repeatedly repaired, renovated by various rulers until a new mosque was built in Herat and the importance of the old mosque was over-shadowed. Little was left of the "Great Mosque of Herat" by the mid of twentieth century when a major reconstruction and renovation work was carried out after 1945AD. The mosque was expanded and decorated in its present shape. 

I hope that I have done some justice with this beautiful piece of architecture by searching hard and adding the above details about it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Postcard #4: Lake Piso, Liberia



A nice gift from a lovely brother. Thank you Adeel Bhai for this nice postcard from Liberia. Its a view postcard with a very nice scenic view of Lake Piso in Liberia. Lake Piso is also known as Lake Pisu and Fisherman's Lake. It is a oblong tidallagoon in Grand Cape Mount County in Western Liberia. Located close to the town of Robertsport, it is the largest lake in Liberia with an area of 103 sq km. 

The name of the lake originates from a local term which means "Pigeon's Hole" - A reference to the flocks of pigeons that once came to Lake Piso to drink water.

The postcard will also help me to add to the Postcard Friendship Friday at another friend's blog.
Best Regards

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