A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

planes, maps, and vistas: more old Lebanese stamps

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on September 18, 2008

Today I am holding my tongue, as otherwise I would find it lashing out at the Lebanese Forces and the Marada, two Christian militias-turned-political-parties. The night before last, partisans from both sides got into an argument over where the Lebanese Forces could paste posters advertising its “Martyrs’ Mass” this Sunday – an argument in which neither group was probably as innocent as they now claim, and which ended in the shooting deaths of one man on each side.

I imagine that they have both been added to each side’s list of “martyrs”, although thanks to ST’s helpful distinction (which you can find in the comments to my post on the meaning of “shahid”), I would say that they are both more accurately described as “maghdour” – deceived. After all, what deception to think that hanging posters is a cause worth dying for – and what a terrible self-deception that they and their living comrades commit, in thinking that this is how Christians should live. I suspect that Christ, whose fundamental message was “love thy neighbor” (followed shortly by “turn the other cheek”) is horrified by the acts Lebanese Christians commit in his name.

And as you can see, holding my tongue is one of my particular talents, ha ha.

Back to the stamps. Today I have a total mish-mash to show, starting with this trio. The top left has an image of a man … who I must admit I don’t recognize (help, Kheireddine!) and a map of the country. Feel free to try to pick out Shebaa Farms, the Litani, or any other area that has become a political hotspot since this stamp was issued.

The top right stamp shows a lovely view from the arches of what looks to me like Beiteddine, while the bottom set of stamps, whose cancellation mark also looks to me like 1958 (October 30, if I am reading the “X” correctly), show a lovely and very Lebanese landscape.

This second set of stamps also offers a mix of themes and styles. The top left stamp continues Lebanon’s message of technology, progress, and connection to the outside world by showing an airplane – a good message to send via international mail, since I imagine that many people in the 1950s would not have thought of Lebanon as a country easily accessible by air.

The next two stamps show two figures (hunters?) passing through a meadow ringed by trees. Its a bucolic scene, but it also offers a sign of Lebanon’s modernity: there is a plane passing overhead.

And the stamp at the bottom right celebrates another source of Lebanon’s beauty and natural wealth: a massive waterfall.

4 Responses to “planes, maps, and vistas: more old Lebanese stamps”

  1. faylasoof said

    I believe the hunters you see are actually skiers, and the trees look like cedars. Was skiing at the cedars popular back in those days? I have a huge collection of stamps from around the middle east and the world dating from the 50s and 60s. I’d be happy to share scans if you’re interested.

    Incidentally, I love your blog. Although I hardly think you need my encouragement, keep it up!

  2. Faylasoof, thank you for your comments. Your idea of skiers makes much more sense than mine of hunters – guess I was over-influenced by the current season. I’d love to see your stamps (and post them, although I wish I had something more intelligent to say about these stamps than “this is a map, and this is a man I don’t recognize”) – can you send the scans as jpgs or gifs?

    And your email address … a bit risque, but it made me laugh out loud.

  3. Joe H. said

    I have some stamps (some are before independence some are after independence) anyway interested of buying ?

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