GEOGRAPHIC PHILATELY | Covers & Postcards Worldwide

Covers and postcards sent to my address from different countries of the world.

Western Sahara (2014) under Moroccan administration

Cover or postcard from Western Sahara is considered rather rare among collectors. There are several reasons for the scarcity of items sent from this region among collectors.
This territory is long-time disputed beween the Morocco and the Saharawi people. In 1974, the Spanish government succumbed the pressure lead by the United Nations and it issued promises of a referendum on independence in its colony/province Spanish Sahara.


The Saharawi political representtion immediately proclaimed the independent Saharawi Republic. At the same time, Morocco claimed the sovereignty over the territory, arguing that it had been artificially separated from their territories by the European colonial powers. The UN attempted to settle these disputes between Saharawi representation and Morocco via the International Court of Justice (ICJ). It acknowledged that Western Sahara had historical links with Morocco and Mauritania, but these are insufficient arguments or sovereignty over this territory. The court stated that Saharawi population possess the right of self-determination. Despite the ICJ verdict, Morocco occupied the Western Sahara territory. On 6 November 1975 Morocco initiated the Green March into Western Sahara; 350,000 unarmed Moroccans converged on the city of Tarfaya in southern Morocco and waited for a signal from King Hassan II of Morocco to cross the border in a peaceful march. A few days before, on 31 October, Moroccan troops invaded Western Sahara from the northwest. Since then, Western Sahara is administrated by Morocco and all international attempts to organize the referendum on the status of Western Sahara were successfully boycotted by Morocco with great help of USA and France, which are permanent members in the UN Security Council. After the years of occupation, Morocco controls the vast majority of the Western Sahara territory. The Saharawi political representation control only minor part of the desert in the eastern part of the WS territory.

SADR2From the philatelic point of view, it is very easy to find and/or buy “stamps” of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) on the internet. However, these “stamps” are cinderellas and they have never been used for postage. All major cities of Western Sahara are administrated by Morocco, therefore Maroc Post is the official postal service for this territory. The political representation of Western Sahara (POLISARIO) resides in the refugee camp near the Tindouf city in Algeria. Thus it is very likely that Saharawi people use Algerian Post for their correspondence. There is nothing like SADR (Western Sahara) postal service.

Back to scarcity of the philatelic items sent from Western Sahara. I think that the major reason of such scarcity is the disputed status of the territory. For the safety reasons, the territory is highly controlled by the Army. Therefore at least Laayoune is definitively not prepared for massive tourism yet. Other reason might include the fact that many collectors mistakenly consider SADR stamp as official stamps for postage in Western Sahara forgetting that all mail going from the territory of Western Sahara travels through Moroccan postal service. The only possibility to get cover or postcard from this region is to have a friend in one of few major cities (Laayoune, Boujdour, Dakhla, Esmara) or somebody travelling there.

While visiting the city of  El-Aaiún (Al-Aaiún, Laayoune)—capital of Western Sahara, I tried to send couple of covers and postcards to my collectors friends. Buying postcard in this city is rather challenging and it was impossible to buy a single card of Laayoune or anything related to Western Sahara. Under Moroccan administration, cards refer to Southern Morocco (Sud de Maroc).

Sending philatelic covers seems easier than sending postcards, as the Moroccan Postal Service works perfectly. There are several post office downtown in the city centre of El-Aaiún. I managed to send couple of covers to myself and several collectors friends.

WS_POFirst cover was sent directly from one of post-offices downtown.
The postmistress beautifully cancelled my sent covers.

WS_mail-boxSecond cover was left in mailbox in front of another post office downtown, it was a control dropped in mailbox along with some sent postcards.
Surprisingly, it arrived with nicely readable postmark, which differs from the postmark from other post-office.

You also can check other covers from Western Sahara that I sent to my friends. See their blogs :). 1) Florian, 2) Roland of LCC, 3) Francis, 4) Monica, 5) …




Filed under: Morocco, National symbols, Western Sahara

Morocco (2011) Arab postal service

Third cover received on Tuesday 17.5.2011. The commemorative stamp is joint issue on Arab postal service. Thank you very much!

Filed under: Morocco, Regional culture

Hi, my name is Radim, born in a year of Dragon, interested in Botany and loving flags on stamps :). I am collecting nice covers and postcards thaít are addressed to me. And because I love travelling and it is impossible to see all the nice places of the world, I therefore wish to receive covers or/and postcards from as many countries as possible. Just to "touch" the distant places virtually :-).
I will deeply appreciate if you can help me with cover from any of worldwide country. I miss 10(11) countries (+ 2-3 distinct territories) in my collection, but I will appreciate any nice cover from any country sent to my address :)



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