Sunday Stamps 056: The Menorah

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Shalom, my friends.
I’m joining again the Sunday Stamps meme. The theme this week is any stamp received since May 10.

I have lots to choose from but I chose this very special stamp. It’s not every day that I get mails from this country.  My entry this week, is still fresh from the Post Office as it bears the postmark 18.05.12 of the Cambodian PO (I got it yesterday). More than that, I’m very much giddy because it came from the country dubbed as the Holy Land, Israel. It was postmarked 30-04.12 by the Tel Aviv-Yafo. 

I’m only going to use one of the three stamps that were affixed on the packet. Yes, I’m “stingy” like that :)

Here it is:
The Jewish menorah, a seven-branched candelabra used in Jewish temples and one of the iconic (and enduring) symbols of Israel and the Jewish faith.
Some people believe that the menorah represents the burning bush which Moses saw, as related in the Hebrew Bible (source). Others say that it is more than a suggestive symbol of the Light of God’s Word; it actually displays the sevenfold symmetric perfection of the Canon Wheel (source).  The seven-branched menorah should not be mistaken for hannukiyah, a kind of menorah that has eight branches (candle-holders) with a ninth set above the others, and is used during the Jewish holiday Hannukah.
Have you ever seen an actual menorah? Unfortunately, I haven’t yet. I know this will come as a surprise but there is a Jewish synagogue here in Phnom Penh.

The stamp above, in 30*-shekel denomination, is one of the two in the second Menorah stamp series issued in 2002. I was the lucky recipient of a packet full of great postcards and stamps from Tel Aviv sent by my email-pal Miriam. They are my first postcards and stamps from Israel!

דאנק איר, מיריאַם.Thank you, Miriam. I only asked for one but you showered me with more. For that, I’m so grateful and I will surely return the favour in no time!

***

NB:
Currency conversion

US$ 1 = 3.82555 ILS (Israeli Shekels)

Postcard Friendship 062: Traditional Qatari clothing

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I am so embarrassed that it took me a very long time to post this postcard from Doha (Qatar) to this blog. This is just one of the only two postcards I have from this country. This was sent to me by a fellow Filipino who is based there about a year ago.

Members of the Qatar Folklore Group performing at the Qatar National Theatre.

In the oil-rich country of Qatar in the middle-east, men and women are completely covered from head to toe.

The men, as shown above, are wearing the traditional clothing: thobe, a long white shirt over loose pants; ghutra, a loose headdress in white or red and white held in place by a black rope-like coil called ogaal. This traditional clothing is worn with much pride – in workplaces, and in schools where it is required. According to the online site QatarVisitor.com, the thobe, with its loose concealing folds, enables men to follow Mohammed’s injunction to be modest and to conceal the Awrah, the area between his navel and his knee.
Expat-residents and visiting foreigners are expected to dress in a manner sensitive to the Islamic culture.


Night lights in Iraqi skies

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It’s been quiet here for awhile and it’s because I was down with a nasty cold virus. It felt like a thousand monkeys dancing to the tune of techno-music in my head, and my nose — my nose was dripping with you-don’t-wanna-know-what substance, like water to Niagara falls! YUCK. I know.
So I dropped everything like a hot potato and gladly took a respite. Tissue paper became my new BFF – best friend forever – while I was dealing with the sniffles, I rummaged through my postcards box and to my horror, found a postcard that I received long ago but haven’t posted it here yet. It’s a special postcard because it came from a country considered difficult to get a postcard from. Well, not it’s not that difficult because my friend from Baghdad, Milad, sent me two postcards!!! Woohoooooo!! This one I love so much:

Milad said that the postcard shows the beautiful night view of one of the popular streets in Baghdad called Abe Nawas. It is overlooking the mighty Tigris River and is famous for parks, cafes and fish and grill restaurants. The whole stretch of Abe Nawas is illuminated by landscape lights every night… what a pretty sight, isn’t it?

Many thanks for this wonderful postcard, Milad. I hope you received the postcards I sent in exchange :)