Friday, August 26, 2011

Philippine Stamp: 1972 Munich Olympics - Olympic Torch

The 1972 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XX Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event held in Munich, West Germany, from August 26 to September 11, 1972. The killings of 11 Israeli athletes by Palestinian gunmen in an event known as the Munich massacre took center stage.

The 1972 Summer Olympics were the second Summer Olympics to be held in Germany, after the 1936 Games in Berlin, which had taken place under the Nazi regime.

Monday, August 1, 2011

U.S. Stamp: Switzerland Found 1291

The 700th anniversary of Switzerland was honored with a 50-cent US-Switzerland joint issue special stamp appearing for the first time February 22, 1991, in Washington, DC, and Bern, Switzerland. The design features the legislative buildings of the two governments—the  Capitol in Washington and the Renaissance-style Federal Palace of Switzerland in Bern.

Designed by Hans Hartman of Koniz, Switzerland, the stamps were manufactured in the photogravure process by the American Bank Note Company and issued in panes of forty.

Saudi Arabian Stamp: Qibla

The Kaaba (The Cube) is a cuboid-shaped building in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and is the most sacred site in Islam. The Qur'an states that the Kaaba was constructed by Ibrahim, and his son Ismaeel, after the latter had settled in Arabia. The building has a mosque built around it, the Masjid al-Haram. All Muslims around the world face the Kaaba during prayers, no matter where they are. This is called facing the Qiblah.
One of the Five Pillars of Islam requires every Muslim to perform the Hajj pilgrimage at least once in his or her lifetime if able to do so. Multiple parts of the Hajj require pilgrims to walk seven times around the Kaaba in a counter-clockwise direction (as viewed from above). This circumambulation, the Tawaf, is also performed by pilgrims during the Umrah (lesser pilgrimage). However, the most dramatic times are during the Hajj, when about 6 million pilgrims gather to circle the building on the same day.