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.

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.

Pakistan: The Most Beautiful Place In The World

I recently got a chance to visit the beautiful Kaghan Valley once again. It was as beautiful as ever. Here I would like to share some nice pictures of the visit and I am sure that you will like these photos.
The first one is a beautiful landscape where the sky is covered with low clouds. Small glaciers can also be seen coming down from the mountains. Water is as clear as ever.
Nature at its best: Enjoy this beautiful snap which is a perfect example of co-existence between animals like horses, sheep, etc. A huge glacier in the background has added color to the greenery on the ground.
 Horses roaming around in the vast lands near Barawai in Kaghan/ Naran Valley.
 Wait for more because the Best Pictures are yet to come.

My Beautiful Pakistan - Kaghan/ Naran Valley

Some beautiful natural springs which can be seen while travelling from Jalkhad to Besal in the Naran Valley.
A memorable view of Payala Lake (Bowl Lake) - A very small but round lake which looks like a bowl. Although not much of a lake is present at this time of the year as the BOWL is filled with snow, some of it even spilling from the edges. In summers, it becomes a perfect round lake with crystal clear water. It is almost in the middle of the picture, extending towards left and climbing a bit on the mountain.
Can a place be more beautiful than this one? A perfect blend of brown ground, green grass/trees, white snow, grey sky and bluish-green water. I absolutely love it!!!

Frozen Paradise: Early Summer Scenes Of Lalusar Lake In Naran Valley

Coming over to the highlight of the visit - Travelling to the partially frozen Lalusar Lake. Extremely hot weather in Southern Pakistan has failed to do any harm to the magnificent Lalusar Lake. The first picture shows the Northern portion of the lake where the lake is almost completely frozen because of the lack of direct sunlight falling on it.
Another nice photo of northern portion of the lake. A huge glacier can be seen falling directly into the lake.
The middle portion of the lake is filled with clear green water with a couple of ice bergs floating on it. Pure natural beauty without a blend of pollution caused by mankind.
The southern bend of the lake completely covered with white sheet ofsnow. Beautiful, isn't it?
The southern portion of the lake is partially frozen. In fact a few of the icebergs are roaming around in the water. My dad absolutely loves this place.

60 Years Of Pakistan China Friendship Coin 2011

To mark the 60 years of warm and strong friendshipbetween Pakistan and ChinaState Bank of Pakistanissued a commemorative coin on 21 May 2011. More specifically, the coin was issued to mark the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between Pakistan and China.
Pakistan Government also announced that the year 2011will be celebrated as Pakistan-China Friendship Year.
The front of the coin shows the waxing crescent and a five pointed star facing north-west in rising position. On the top are the word "Islami Jamhoria Pakistan" in Urdu script which means "Islamic Republic of Pakistan". Under the crescent, in the center and at the top of two springs of wheat with arms curved upward, the issuance year is mentioned as 2011.

The coin denomination is written as Rupees 20 in bold letters in Urdu writing. A circle of sixty small beads is all along the edge of the coin.

On the reverse side, 60th (depicting the number of years of friendship) is inscribed in numeral wording in bold letters.

The wording 2011 YEAR OF PAK-CHINA FRIENDSHIP inEnglish is written on the top of coin. Wording in numeral1951-2011 at the bottom of the coin and above it, a handshake is depicted with the flags of Pakistan and China.

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 Pisuand 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.

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. Thecity of Herat was also sumbitted as one of the properties on the tentative list for registeration asUNESCO 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 centuryCengiz 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 after1945AD. 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.

Water Skiing Resort, Kaptai Lake, East Pakistan (Bangladesh)

Here I have a beautiful vintage post card from East Pakistan (NowBangladesh). The postcard shows a beautiful scene of water skiingat 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 waterski 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 theKamaphuli 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.

North Korea, Flight Tower In Pyongyang

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??? 

Pakistan: Fasting Buddha in Lahore Museum

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

The GandharaFasting 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 insearch 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 in1894 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 thesubcontinent. Part of the collection was removed toIndia after Partition but this is still the biggest and themost impressive museum in Pakistan. The museum has20 galleries with items dating from the Stone age to the20th 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 Sikhdoor-ways, wood-work and contains a large collection of paintings dating back to the MughalSikh and British eras.

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.

Another View Of Al-Masjid Al-Haraam, Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Here is another viewof Al-Masjid Al-Haraam in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
This post card is from Saudi Arabia and basically it featuresthe dome and minaret of Al-Masa'a. It is the third postcard with the same masjid in fact.
After this I will be uploading other postcards as well.

Al-Masjid Al-Haram (Holy Mosque), Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Hello and Assalam-o-Alaikum!
Here is my first post card for the blog.
I chose this nice piece from my little postcard collection as my first here. The postcard features the World's largest mosque and the holiest place for the Muslim World. It is also the prime destination of the Hajj pilgrimage.

The mosque complex covers an area of 356,800 square meters and can accommodate up to 820,000 worshipers during the Hajj.

The Haram was built in the 7th century and has been modified, rebuilt, and expanded on a regular basis ever since. Major expansions took place in the 1980s and further work is going on today.

The mosque is built around Holy Kaa'ba or qibla which is considered to be the home of Allah (Almighty God) on Earth. So all Muslims around the globe say their prayers facing towards Holy Kaa'ba. The Holy Mosque is the only mosque that has no qibla direction, since Muslims pray facing the Kaa'ba in the central courtyard. I mean to say that the direction like West, East or North are not specified like in any other mosque but the worshippers face the qibla for their prayers.

I planned to start posting post cards a little later but I am posting my first postcardon the request of a fellow collector Marie who is organizing an event on her blog by the name of 'Postcard Friendship Friday'. So today on Friday, 30th of January 2009, I post this postcard as my first on the blog.

I hope that all of you will like it.
Best Regards

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 Bronzemedals respectively.

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 in2001The 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 2004to 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.

Pakistan: FIFA Centenary Celebrations 2004

Here is a beautiful FDC issued by Pakistan Post on the eve of FIFA Centenary Celebrations on 21 May 2004.  The FDC sports a set of 3 stamps with Rs 5denomination each. The cover depicts three abstract soccer players running after the magic ball. The beautifulpostmark cancellation also shows a football in the center.

Football is considered an easy game to be played by any faction of the society. The love of football can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere, no matter how skilled a player you may happen to be. You just require a football to enjoy the ecstacy of this magic game.
Over the past 100 years, football has taken root as the world's most watched and played sport, encompassing whole regions, people and nations. With approximately two hundred million active players in the world, it has become a national obsession in many countries making players superstars and clubs powerful brands.
These stamps issued from Pakistan marks the centenary of FIFA, (The Fédération Internationale de Football Association) which was founded on 21 May 1904 featuring the FIFA Centenary logo.
Here I would like to add one thing: Pakistan is one of the largest exporters of hand-made footballs in the World. Although Football is a hugely popular game among the people in Pakistan yet Pakistan Football Team has never brought any laurels at the international arena. PresentlyPakistan is ranked 167 in FIFA Rankings.
While talking about football, I just remembered a picture I took last year. It would definitely be a pleasure to share it with you. This is my younger daughter - Maha's picture playing with a football while eating a banana in the kitchen. So even the children enjoy FOOTBALL -the best game played in the World. 

Estonia: Beautiful Sports Stamps

An absolutely beautiful cover from Estonia is here with wonderful sporting stamps. The cover was sent byKriistina from Estonia and contained some really beautiful used stamps, a FDC and a card. All are beautiful.

The 3 stamps on the left form a complete set of of three commemorative stamps issued on the occasion of the 1st Baltic Sea Games held under the aegis of the International Olympic Committee in a number of Estonian towns from 23 June to 4 July 1993. The description of the 3 stamps is as follows:-
  • The 60 s stamp (on the left) features wrestling, one of Estonia’s most successful sports in the first half of this century. Famous Estonians wrestlers include the professionals Aleksander Aberg, Georg Lurich and Georg Hackenschmidt from the early 1900s, as well as the Olympic gold medal winners Kristjan Palusalu (1936) and Johannes kotkas (1952).co
  • The 1 kr + 25 s stamp features a Viking ship with a sail carrying a map of the Baltic sea area, and the colours of the participating nations in the shape of warrior shields lining the side of the ship.
  • The figure of the shot putter on the 2 kr stamp actually represents Kalevipoeg, the hero of the Estonian national epic. Kalevipoeg’s victory over his brothers in a stone-throwing test of strength by which he come to inherit his father’s kingdom is one of the best known episodes of the 19th century poetical work.
The magnificent stamp on the right top of the cover was issued on 4 May 2004 by Estonia. It's a EUROPA stamppromoting vacations The relatively brief Estonian summer provides enough, various opportunities of spending the leisure in a pleasant way. As Estonia is a maritime country, the holiday is often connected with the sea. There are numerous beautiful beaches, notably in Pirita, Pärnu, Haapsalu, Toila etc. Besides sunbathing, a day on the beach offers opportunities of more athletic activity as well, windsurfing or yachting being just two options out of many. Both require skill, strength as well as an adventurous spirit. A day under the sails, breathing salty sea air, can be a unique experience.

Cricket Postmark From Pakistan

Back after a brief pause.
Here is a beautiful cover with a commemorative postmark issued on the event of the 3rd Test Match between the cricket teams of traditional rivals on the pitch - Pakistan & India. The match took place in Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium from 13-17 Apr 2004. The cricket themed postmark shows a batsman playing a shot in front of the wickets.

A very strong Indian Team won the 3rd Test and marked their first test series win in Pakistan after 15 years against a then under-transition Pakistani Team. India won by an innings and 131 runs - Huge victory for them on Pakistani soil.

Since there was no special cover or stamp issued on the occasion and only a postmark was issued thus I have used a sports related cover (FIFA Centenary Celebrations 2004) and one of the stamp of the series of stamps issued for 9th SAF games, 2004 depicting two wrestlers in the ring.