To my cover-exchanging friends, please try as much as possible to
as these give a more personal touch to the cover
the Philippine postal service damages the cover with scribbling that highly devalues the aesthetic value of the cover, which is what I am after
or at least same themes when sending covers, but it is okay if this is not possible or if this would be expensive, and
not too small, but maybe around 4"x6" or something like that; big envelopes are not very attractive unless they have many stamps.
Thank you!



Here is my first cover from Mauritania!

A little bit on this little-known African nation before I continue:

Mauritania (Arabic: موريتانيا‎ Mūrītāniyā and French: Mauritanie) is situated in northwest Africa with about 350 mi (592 km) of coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Morocco on the north, Algeria and Mali on the east, and Senegal on the south. The country is mostly desert, with the exception of the fertile Senegal River valley in the south and grazing land in the north.

It has, since it liberation from France in 1960, had its share of political and ethnic strife and has suffered as a result of opposing parties' conflicting interests. In the late 1960s, the government sought to make Arab culture dominant in the country after the French occupation, which Gallicized much of Mauritanian society. Racial and ethnic tensions between Moors, Arabs, Berbers, and blacks were also frequent.

The nation chose its first democratically elected president only in 2007 after years of authoritarian rule and rigged elections. However, this president was overthrown in July 2008, just a over a year after his installment, by a bloodless military coup. Ironically, some of the generals that helped him gain power three years earlier had turned a cheek and were also involved in this coup.

Now, on to the stamps:

Sadly, the scan came out pretty bad since you cannot really see the perfs of the stamps and the postmarks are not very very clear (although they aren't really clear on the actual cover anyway). However, don;t feel shortchanged as you're not really missing out on much since the stamps are of the exact same design, only different denominations and different color schemes for the borders.

The two stamps on the cover celebrate the second chapter of the World Summit on the Information Society held in Tunis in 2005. The first half of the summit was help in Geneva in 2003. Among the issues brought up at these seminars was the ownership or rights over the Internet, which was as of that time (and I think still is) largely controlled by the United States. Talks on the distribution of control over the Internet were held, but suggestions were rejected by the United States. Other outcomes of the meet were (1) the declaration that 17 May be World Telecommunication Day and (2) the setting of a goal to have 50% of the world online and with access to computer technology by 2015, an (3) forums on the narrowing of the "digital divide" between developed an developing countries.

Anyhoo, notice that the postage adds up to 470 UM, or 470 Ouguiya, which is about USD 1.90! Quite expensive for postage, eh? I have heard from some contacts in Europe that their postage was costly; I wonder what Mauritanians have to say about postage rate hikes! -- Or was the sender just kind enough to send the entire set? I really wouldn't know since no info is available online.....

1 comment:

Bradpetehoops said...

Very rare country to collect, your lucky.