Sunday, February 28, 2016

Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak - Mother of the Nation, UAE

Usually with stamps I can tell what they are about based on the image or the text...with this one I was just lost based on both...the image itself kinda resembled either some flower or crown..but since the text is in Arabic, I couldn't get anything from that - this is one of those languages where I cannot even type it into google translate and see what I get...

Turns out this issue had something to do with Fatima bint Mubarak Al Ketbi (is like a logo or something)...and of course I have never heard about her...till now. She is the third wife of the founder and the first president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the late emir (ruler) of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. She is firstly called mother of sheikhs and then mother of the UAE or nation.

She is one of the women rights supporters in the country and has also done campaigns for girls' education and supports adult literacy and provision of free public education to girls.

In 1997, five different organizations of the United Nations, UNICEF, WHO, UNIFEM, UNFP and UNFPA, awarded Sheikha Fatima for her significant efforts for women's rights and the UNIFEM stated "she is the champion of women's rights". She was also awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order by the then Tunisian president Zine el Abidine ben Ali in 2009 for her contributions to raise the status of Arab women. Much more significantly she was given by the UNESCO the Marie Curie Medal for her efforts in education, literacy and women's rights, being the third international and the first Arab recipient of the award.

WOW! So many achievements and shame on me, had no idea who she was =/

Now it made me wonder if maybe I should have saved this for the subject on 'women'....but I think I have some other nice choices for that one...from a country not far away from this one, so you'll have to stay tuned :)

Date of Issue 24 July 2011
Width 40.0 mm
Height 40.0 mm
Denomination 1.00 AED
Perforations 13.5 by 13.5

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

International Polar Year 2007-2008, USA

Recently I posted this Alaska card with the Northern Lights, which reminded me I had this great cover, from the same sender, who is always firing missiles from ambush...

...and one sunny summer day, my mailbox was hit with this stunning cover with this International Polar Year sheet issued by the USPS on February 21, 2007, in Fairbanks, Alaska (kinda logical).

Continuing the tradition of international cooperation that began with the first International Polar Year (IPY) in 1882-1883, scientists from around the world initiated a new era in polar research by participating in IPY 2007-2008. Working across many disciplines, the scientists had conducted field observations, research, and analysis to build upon current knowledge and increase our understanding of the roles that both polar regions play in global processes.

The photograph of the Aurora Borealis, or "northern lights," was made by Fred Hirschmann of Wasilla, Alaska.
The photograph of the Aurora Australis, a phenomenon of the southern polar region, was made by Per-Andre Hoffmann of Stuttgart, Germany.

note: The $1.68, International Polar Year 2007-2008 souvenir sheet may not be split and the stamps may not be sold individually.
Well, I agree on that decision - this issue looks much better when used as a whole sheet instead individual stamps :)

and a huge thank you to Mr. B.D ;-)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Railway Tourism of Taiwan

I received this amazing FDC recently as a 'thank you' from a very kind Taiwanese girl, and it made me realize that I have not posted anything Taiwanese here so far...I don't know why, but well, time to change that....and I think it's been a long while since I've dedicated an entire post to trains only, so I'll dare to do so now :))

To promote the rail tours, Chunghwa Post has selected three TRA tourist trains and tours - namely the Summer Formosa Cruise-Style Steam Engine Train - Yuli to Taitung, the Cruise-Style Trains on the South Link Line and the Evolution No.1001 - Jiji Line - for a set of three stamps.

Taiwan’s railways are fascinating and charming, and taking a vacation by rail has become quite popular in recent years. To promote rail tours, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) has launched vintage steam engine trains, cruise-style trains that “wait for the passengers,” and themed trains. Chunghwa Post has selected three tourist trains and tours for a set of three stamps. The designs follow:
- 1.Summer Formosa Cruise-Style Steam Engine Train—Yuli to Taitung (NT$5): TRA formally launched the Summer Formosa steam engine tourist train in 2012 to celebrate establishing a sister-train relationship with a steam-engine train in Japan. In recent years, in coordination with the summer peak season, TRA launched an itinerary between Yuli and Taitung, making stops at the famous tourist attractions along the way, allowing passengers to take in all the natural beauty and culture of Hualien and Taitung.
- 2.Cruise-Style Trains—South Link Line (NT$10): This cruise-style train, modeled on ocean cruises, makes stops at several stations with special local colour. Passengers get off the train for sightseeing and then get back on the train and head for the next destination. A prominent feature of the South Link Line is the abundance of bridges and tunnels. The majority of the line is built where the sea meets the mountains, allowing passengers to enjoy the spectacular mountain and ocean vistas of Taiwan’s southeast coast.
-3.The Evolution No. 1001—Jiji Line (NT$15): This train was formerly known as DSC1001 and served as the TRA director-general’s official train. It was mainly used as a temporary command center on TRA’s branch lines during natural disasters and major accidents. With the growth of tourism, TRA has employed artists to convert the train into a sci-fi-themed train with the story line that it has been taken over by alien train buffs in search of a home. It runs on the tourism-heavy Jiji Line, which features abundant cultural resources and beautiful and diverse ecology and scenery.

Curious to know how much would a ticket cost....I tried to do a search, but the returned results pointed out to something insanely cheap, so Im not really sure I did the right thing there :)

* Date of Issue: 25 November 2015
* Paper used: Phosphorescent stamp paper
* Dimension of stamps: 60 × 30 (mm)
* Perforation: 13 × 13 1/2

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sea Guernsey 3, Guernsey

Sunday Stamps calls for sunsets and sunrises....and I think this is the best I could have come up can spot them on few of the stamps featured below...I believe =)

this is an FDC coming from Guernsey, issued for the SEPAC 2011, for the final Sea Guernsey series (this is Sea Guernsey 3..(the two previous series were issued in 2005 and 2009 I think).

For this final Sea Guernsey series, there is some beautiful scenery which can be found on the island's rich and varied coastline; each depicting a real place which can be enjoyed by those living in, or visiting, Guernsey.

 For many, St Peter Port is the most attractive destination in the Channel Islands, particularly when arriving by sea. Those fortunate enough to arrive on the island by yacht or power boat may use Victoria Marina (36p) which lies within the harbour at St Peter Port.

With the sky lit up beautifully, L'Ancresse Bay (45p) is one of the biggest - and some would say most stunning - bays on Guernsey. Located on the north of the island, the water is perfect for windsurfing, surfing, sailing, sea kayaking and even fishing.

Bearing the SEPAC inscription is the image of Bordeaux Harbour (52p), a small fishing port which is a popular haunt with fishermen and divers found in the north east of Guernsey. In the foreground is the cobble-like slipway, which enables boats to move to and from the water.

Guernsey's south coast features many breathtaking bays, such as the one depicted on the 58p stamp, which has been captured at sunset. One of the best known bays is Moulin Huet, a rugged, stunning bay which was a favourite of the French Impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Close to St Peter Port is the attractive Salerie Harbour (65p), which is named after the practice of salting fish and has retained much of its charm. As the image depicts, framing the harbour is a number of Heritage listed period houses that typify the area.

Beautifully captured, Petit Port (70p) is certainly one of the most spectacular of the south coast beaches. It enjoys plenty of sunshine and features deep, pure sand. Close to the Jerbourg Monument, Petit Port lies at the bottom of cliffs and can only be reached by a climb down of over 270 steps.

(information taken from the Guernsey Stamps' website)

Date of Issue 28 September 2011 (heh, my ex-bf's birthday...funny how such small details can trigger memories...)

for more beautiful sunrises and sunsets check out the link below

and have a great Sunday! :)

Sunday, February 14, 2016

St. Valentine's Day

Since the day kinda calls for it, let's post something related to St. Valentine's today...not because I am actually fond of it...on the whole contrary I hate it how commercialized this holiday has become and the whole fuss created around it (in general I absolutely dislike such days)..and then on the other hand, it is a Catholic holiday but people over here are like celebrating it too cos it makes them feel important (and Christmas is still celebrated on January 7th.....)
But despite my overall despise related to this day, the stamps issued to commemorate it are nice and I think they are worth posting....there is another Christian saint related to this day, St. Trifun, the protector of the viticulture and the horticulture and today is the day when the first vines are being pruned...but of course, no stamps related to it, so I have to stick to St. Valentines for that, despite my feelings towards it (Maybe I am being hypocritical here, I don't know =))

Anyways, I wanted to present you two different issues coming from Finland (the FDC above), issued for St. Valentines on February 3rd 1998 (the sheet was designed by Marleena Ansio). To me it is just adorable! I love it!! And there are some words/phrases in Finnish, that I absolutely don't understand =)

The other issue comes from France, and it comes on a cover, sent by Eric. It was issued on January 23, 2015 and designed by  Jean-Charles de Castelbajac (and therefore here we have the Castelbajac heart). It should be noted that Castelbajac is actually a fashion designer, designer, author and costume designer  and from what I have read, a very famous one, but me has never heard of him until now :)

The set consists of two different stamps (on this FDC you can see one of them), where you can see two stylized faces in profile, touching their respective nose, reminding an Eskimo kiss, hence the French pun "exquis mots".

On the necks of the two characters, the sketched hands recall the wings of the "dove of peace" by Picasso.
Castelbajac has created these stamps using the flagship colors that symbolize his work and universe : blue, yellow and red.

If you take a look at the bottom left corner, you will see Castelbajac's signature, his initials JCC with a crown on top...pretty neat :)

I don't know how eligible my post is for today's Sunday Stamps since it is all about the colour red, but I'll give it a try...I hope I won't be kicked out =)

For more red stuff, click on the link below!

Sunday Stamps 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Eurovision Song Contest, Norway

well, since the day kinda calls for it, let's commemorate it with something Norwegian over here as well..
for those being 'what the heck is she talking about'....well just somehow 'celebrating' my one-year-lasting of learning Norwegian...probably seems like nonsense to be giving it this kind of attention, but those who know the spot Norway has in my heart, will understand it :)

I've already rambled more than enough about it at my Geiranger post here, so I won't be bothering you with an additional episode of the "Ana is learning Norwegian" series, just showcase this beautiful Norwegian FDC!

Issued in 2010 on May 18th, to commemorate the Eurovision Song Contest, that in 2010 was held in Oslo, since the previous year Alexander Rybak won, an the fun fact here is that he is considered the highest-scoring winner, with a total of 387 points!

Now, I am not a Eurovision fan (used to be when I was a kid, and just occasionally watched it with friends later...but in the last ten years I am totally totally out of it).
However I sometimes stumble across some of those Eurovision songs and I do like some...and that's what happened with Alexander Rybak...I immediately liked it! (and yeah, Rybak is super cute too, so maybe that kinda influenced my judgement on the song too, who knows :P)

You can see Rybak on the third stamp...and on the other three you can also see other Norwegian contestants that had been winners (or have become memorable cos of something else....though personally I am clueless about them all, even though they had been winners during the years I followed Eurovision).
On the first stamp are Bobbysocks (won in 1985); second stamp - Secret Garden (won in 1995), fourth stamp shows Jahn Teigen - has represented Norway four times and had become famous for scoring zero, yes ZERO points when he took part in 1978...poor guy!

in the end, lets see what's all that Rybak fuss about :)) come on, he is just adorable!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Graphic Humour, Spain

Just recently I selfishly acquired this from a friend...well, he didnt object in me taking it, but I keep thinking that maybe I was just a bit too greedy....but then again, if I left it with him he would have just used it for postage most probably so I just want to think that I kinda saved it :D

If you take a good look you will actually see that the issue is presented as a souvenir sheet that is made up of one stamp, plus 11 cartoons in a comic strip format with no postage value (kinda weird on the other hand, to create a stamp sheet like this and then kinda make it useless...cos if you just use the stamp and leave the rest it kinda ends up being destroyed and looks I guess this was meant for collectors only...I mean, the face value of the stamp is not really something you could use on every day mail now, is it?). It features a dedication penned by the graphic humorist: “For the entire philatelic work force, with affection (2014).”

Antonio Fraguas de Pablo, known as Forges, was born in Madrid in 1942. Beginning as a technician at the national television station TVE when he was very young, in 1973 he decided to devote himself professionally to graphic humour. During this initial period, he published his first drawings in the daily newspaper Pueblo (in 1964) and in Informaciones, and began to collaborate with the humour magazines Hermano Lobo, Por Favor and El Jueves. In 1982 he began working at the newspaper Diario 16 drawing editorial jokes. Years later, he began appearing in El Mundo, the paper that he helped to found. In 1995 he started publishing a daily comic strip in El País that he still signs today. Exhibiting a sense of humour that is caustic, realistic and loaded with current references, Forges depicts a critical vision of current events in his drawings, with thought-provoking characters and situations from everyday life. He uses popular language, with invented words, such as strozá, gensanta, bocata and esborcio, that simulate vocabulary picked up directly from the streets. Among his most well-known characters, which undoubtedly reflect the ad hoc nature of society, are: Mariano and his wife Concha, the island castaways that combat loneliness with imagination, Los Blasillos (the Blasillo family) in rural Spain, the deranged football fans and the enfuriated office worker. Phrases such as “Don’t forget...” repeated day after day for different reasons, emphasise events that occupy the front pages of the news.

it was issued on October 9, 2014

anyways, the theme for today's Sunday Stamps is illustrations, and this kinda (at least according to me), fit into the I thought it would be nice to share it with you, cos personally, I really love this one!
Now, it is in Spanish, so I hope you can get the idea about what it is all with my limited knowledge of Spanish, I would refrain from translating, translating humour is like destined to result in a failure...

for more illustrations of this and other kinds, make sure to visit today's Sunday Stamps!