Stamps and Somalia – Just another day in the life of a teacher

British-issued Somaliland Protectorate.

When I taught high school, it seemed unlikely that stamps and Somalia would come up in the same sentence, but they did.

At the high school where I used to teach, there were several young ladies who were from Somalia. Despite the challenges the nation faces, they showed great pride in their homeland

Stamps and Somalia
This stamp of French Somalia, Djibouti, was issued in 1894.

One interesting point was that the school, which had students from several dozen countries, would hold an annual International Day. This was a celebration of the culture of students’ home countries.

The students would set up booths and demonstrate the clothing, music and dance of their home countries. They would also – my favorite part – have food native to their countries. The girls from Somalia always made sure their homeland was well represented.

Stamps and Somalia

As I got to know the girls better, I took a greater interest in the nation and its stamps and postal history.

What I learned is the region has a tremendous and complicated postal history. Stamps and Somalia could be quite a philatelic study on their own.

There are many different directions to go with a Somalia stamp collection:

  • Benadir Issues from Italy.
  • Trans Juba issues after the British ceded part of Jubaland to Italy.
  • Oultre Guiba
  • Italian East Africa.
  • British Administration of Italian Somaliland.
  • Somaliland Protectorate.
  • Trust Territory (United Nations) of Somaliland.
  • French Somaliland, now Djibouti.
  • The Somali Republic.

In 1991, at the start of the Civil War there, the Somali post office ceased all operations. In 2013, with the support of the United Arab Emrites and the Universal Postal Union, the postal service returned to Somalia and by 2014, they were offering international mail services.

I will note that as I write this, Somalia’s postal service’s website will not load. I’m uncertain if that means anything.

However, stamps and Somalia, it seems go hand in hand.

The ‘Benadir’ stamps were the first stamps used in Somalia while under Italian control.

Not overly valuable, some of Somalia’s older stamps can be a tad expensive, though most are quite affordable. But that’s not their true value, at least to me.

No, it is just looking through my collection, which now houses a good bit of Somalia, and thinking about stamps and Somalia, those students and their pride in, and hope for, their home.

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