Good customers should be treated well, even if they are distracted.

In the past the most important stamps dealer in Lebanon was Benjamin Baroody Company. It operated between the middle of the 30s and the early 50s. Envelopes with its seal are not common but not so scarce and when they are seen they do not go unnoticed. In fact most of the time they are franked with otherwise unobtainable commemorative values ​​used on envelopes, and for this we should thank him in a posthumous way. His envelopes containing generally stamps sent to the customers are highly franked and often used stamps are grouped and overlaid. This is why the cover that I want to present “seemingly” does not come out of the norm except for the scarce tardive (but yet legal) use of the 200 Piastres air stamp issued on 1 May 1943 on the commemorating the second anniversary of independence (fig 1).

fig. 1

Another feature of the envelopes sent by Baroody is the use of perfect franking: it is always consistent with the postal rates then in force. On ours cover, sent from Beirut on 28/11/1951 to New York, in order to fulfill the payment of the postage for registered letter sent by air mail to America with a weight between 41 and 50 grams, Baroody used stamps for a total amount of 280 Piastres (fig 2).

fig. 2

Our stamp is therefore partially covered by four other values, namely the postage stamp of 50 Piastres of the same commemorative series, and three other air stamps of 10 Piastres each with the image of the maritime Castle of Saida. Something, however has attracted my curiosity: the disproportion of the lower margin of the 200 Piastres stamp (fig 3).

fig. 3

It is very large and you can’t see the perforation. So with a lot of caution, I started lifting each of the four marginal stamps and ………. surprise! I found myself facing a beautiful specimen unperforated with a wide lower margin attached to the cover by a paper hinge (fig 4).

fig. 4

We must consider that even at that time (1951) this unperforated stamp was certainly not common and Baroody must have certainly warned Mr Slater, that is the client, of the gift hidden under the eyes of all. But you know, also collectors are with the head on the clouds and luckily for us Mr Slater had to be very much distracted to forget this hidden gem on the cover.

Bernardo Longo


New details regarding the 1947 Lebanese UPU Paris congress stamp set

The aim of this article is to offer new insights about the commemorative set of 6 stamps (Michel 371/376, Scott C129-C134, YT air post 29-34) issued to celebrate the participation of Lebanon in the 12th Universal Post Union congress held in Paris from the 6th of may 1947 and the International radio Conference held in Atlantic City (16 may-2 october 1947). (fig 1)

Fig 1


The president of the republic Bechara el-Khoury authorized the issue of a six value airmail stamp set pursuant to Decree number 9168 (4 june 1947). Article 4 of the decree specified that the values are as follows 10p, 15p, 25p, 50p, 75p, 100p (each with a print run of 15000 stamps). (fig 2)

Fig 2


The set was issued according to available stamps catalogs on June 17.

The same article of the decree indicated that an additional 1600 perforated set should be issued: 600 to be given as usual to the ‘Universal Postal Union International Bureau’ in Bern while the reaming 1000 set should be distributed to the members participating in these conferences as gifts. (fig 3)

Fig 3


Accordingly a special booklet was prepared for the occasion printed on thick buff card with blue inscriptions. (fig 4)

Fig 4


Mr Jamil Namour, the director of Lebanese postal administration was charged pursuant to decree number 8899 (21 may 1947) to represent Lebanon in these conferences as the head of the official delegation. (fig 5).

Fig 5


Mr. Nammour travelled to Paris and the United States and was empowered to sign the Universal Postal convention on the 5th of July 1947. (fig 6).

Fig 6


It is worth noting that the booklet at our disposal also contains the airmail set representing the Grand Sérail and the bay of Jounieh (Scott C119-C128) sanctioned by decree number 8613 (20 march 1947). It is our hypothesis that this set of 10 stamps was the most recent set issued at the disposal of the Lebanese postal administration before the aforementioned conferences. (fig 7).

Fig 7


The discrepancies between the date of the congress in Paris (6 may) and the date when the stamps commemorating the event were really available (17 June) should be duly noted.  It is unknown to us if and when the UPU set was sent to Paris or the United States. A plausible interpretation could be that Mr. Nammour went to Paris having only at his disposal the Grand Sérail and the bay of Jounieh set and later received from Beirut the UPU set after the 17th of June. Further investigations should be conducted if we want to reach a definitive conclusion, but what remains certain is that 1000 of these booklets were printed and prepared for distribution during these international conferences.


Wissam Lahham



Demystifying the Franco Lebanese Treaty of 1936

This article is an attempt to identify the political figures depicted on the famous “unissued” Franco-Lebanese treaty stamp (Maury 149 A/D). To remember that the treaty was signed on the 13th of November 1936 (figure 1). Thus it will not be our concern to explain the historical context that led mandate French authorities to accept such a treaty nor the internal Lebanese political situation during this crucial period of our modern history.

(fig 1)

French high commissioner authorized the issue of a five value stamp set pursuant to decision number 89/LR (11 June 1937). Article 3 of the decision specified that the stamps should represent a “photo illustration of the ceremony during which the treaty was signed” in the “Petit Sérail” palace. It is worth noting that the original values of the five stamps were as following: 0.5P, 1P, 4P, 7P50 and 10P (each issued in 100’000 copies except the 10P airmail with a print run of only 20’600 copies). (Figure 2).

(fig 2)

The values were modified two times to cope with new postage rates introduced respectively on 1 Agust 1937 and the first of 1 Jenuary 1938. In consequence decision 122/LR (9 august 1937) modified the initial values as follows: 0.5P, 1P, 4P, 6P and 10P. These new values were modified one last time pursuant to decision number 183/LR (9 December 1937) that indicated that the new values should be: 0.5P, 1P, 4P, 10P and 10P (airmail).

The Lebanese delegation negotiating the treaty was composed of Emile Edde (president of the republic), Khalid Shihab (president of the chamber of deputies) and Ayyub Tabet (secretary of state similar to our current office of prime minister).

The need to insure a large national cohesion during the negotiations convinced president Edde that parliament should also take part in this important event thus he invited the legislative branch to elect 7 deputies to officially participate in the ongoing diplomatic reunions with the French. Accordingly, the parliament convened and elected on October 15 1936 the official delegation composed of: Najib usayran, Petro Trad, Muhammad Abdelrazek, Wahram Laylakian, Gabriel Khabbaz, Hikmat Jumblat and Bechara el-Khoury. (Figure 3)

(fig 3)

The French delegation was composed of Damien de Martel (high commissioner), Jacques Meyrier (secretary general) Louis Kieffer (head of the political cabinet), Pierre Laffond (the delegate of the high commissioner to the Lebanese government) and Stanislas Ostrorog (figure 4).

(fig 4)

After comparing the illustration on the printed stamps and archival photos we were able to establish the following list:

   1: Louis Kieffer    2: Jacques Meyrier    3: Damien de Martel    4: Emile Edde    5: Khalid Shihab    6: Ayyub Tabet    7: Gabriel Khabbaz             8: Wahram Laylakian    9: Bechara el-Khoury    10: Petro Trad    11: Mohammad el Abboud*    12: Hikmat Jumblat    13: Pierre Laffond   14: Stanislas Ostrorog    15: unidentified**

*(deputy) not a part of the elected delegation but participated in the negotiations as well.                                                                                           **(from the French delegation most probably).

We invite researchers to provide us with more archival material so we can confirm our findings or correct them if necessary.

It is worth noting finally that the Franco-Lebanese treaty stamp encourages us to reconsider some established ideas in Lebanese philately:

  • Bechara el khoury first appeared on a stamp in 1937 long before he became president and the 1947 evacuation of foreign troops set.
  • Both future presidents Ayyub Tabet and Petro Trad appeared on the Franco-Lebanese treaty stamp although they were never depicted on special commemorative issue to this day.

Wissam Lahham 


The army postal Stamp tax of 1945

With great pleasure I present Wissam Lahham as a new contributor to the historical-postal research of Lebanon. Wissam is a resercher and lecturer at the political science institute of USJ in Beirut. His contributions will be of the highest documentary value. 

Bernardo Longo

The army postal tax stamp (Yvert n 197, Michel n 1, SG n T289, Scott RA1), cedar design with Beit-Eddin palace overprint additionally surcharged “Army stamp” in Arabic (5p on 30c) is a bit illusive regarding the date when it was first used (fig 1).

fig 1

The first reported use of the above mentioned stamp appears on a cover dated 11 June 1945 (fig 2).

fig 2

The problem emerges when we know that an ordinary fiscal stamp surcharged in western an Arabic numbers (5p on 1p20, Duston 146) was used as early as the 7th of June 1945 (fig 3) and also later on several recorded covers (fig 4).


fig 3

fig 4

This discrepancy needs a clear explanation to justify the use of two different stamps: the ordinary fiscal stamp starting the 7th of june and the army stamp tax later on the 11th june.

The political independence of Lebanon achieved in November 1943 was far from complete. Many public sectors remained under the direct control of the French mandate authorities such as customs, concessionary companies and public security. The Lebanese government demanded that all administrations should be under its control especially the army. The situation was further complicated when on 14 may 1945 a body of Senegalese troops (1200 soldiers) arrived in Beirut to reinforce the French army in the country. This incident provoked a violent reaction from both the Lebanese and Syrian government considering it a direct violation of their respective sovereignty. Thus the parliament convened and voted a law to cover the needs of the future Lebanese army demanding once again that the French authorities should hand over Lebanese soldiers to the control of the government.

The law was voted on the 29 may 1945. Article 2 created a wide range of taxes to finance the army and assure that once under Lebanese authority it will have all the proper means to function adequately. Among these measures an army tax stamp was created to be compulsory on all normal and registered mail both domestic and foreign (official mail and daily newspapers were exempted). Article 8 of the law specified that all new taxes will be implemented the next day following its publication in the official gazette. The law was published on the 6 of June 1945 (fig 5 and 6) and thus it went into effect on the 7 of the same month. This fact explains why the first use of ordinary fiscal stamp was recorded on the 7 June.



fig 5 & 6

On 9 June 1945 decree number 3328 was promulgated fixing in its first article that a total amount of 7’000’000 ordinary fiscal stamp (30c value) should be transformed to serve as the newly created army tax stamp with the 5 Piasters overprint (fig 7).

fig 7

Hence, the overprinting process was only sanctioned on the 9 June that is two days after the law came into effect on the 7th. Taking into account that printing the new value on the stamps began on the 9th it becomes comprehensible that the new army stamp was first introduced later on June 11. We can conclude with certainty that post offices used the ordinary fiscal stamp from 7 to the 10 June as a contingency measure until overprinting was over and the new army stamp was delivered to post offices starting 11 June 1945. It is worth noting that Lebanese troops (5000 soldiers) were officially handed over to the government on the first of august 1945.

Wissam Lahham

Will we see malaria back in Lebanon ?



Malaria is caused by the parasite Plasmodium, which is transmitted to humans by the bite of Anopheles mosquitoes.

With 216 million people currently infected in 99 countries and 655 000 deaths per year in 2011, malaria is the most common parasitic disease. Around half of the world’s population is exposed and 80% of cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa.

Malaria causes symptoms that typically include fever, fatigue, vomiting, and headaches. In severe cases, it can cause yellow skin, seizures, coma, or death.


Historical background

  • The first serious study reporting the presence of Malaria in Lebanon dates back to 1895. That year, professors Brown, Axe, Negre, Rouvier and Boyer from the French Medical Faculty conducted an epidemiological investigation which showed that malaria was the most common disorder, followed by syphilis, urinary calculi, typhoid and tuberculosis.
  • In 1914, in his manuscript « Health and social hygiene at mount Lebanon » to be addressed to the Governor in order to improve and take necessary measures in these fields, doctor Georges Baz, stated:”Forget malaria? It is rampant in the Lebanon, specialy in the population centers of Bourj Hammoud, Jdeidet El Matn, Bauchrieh, Wadi el Sitt.”



Dr Georges Baz was born in Amchit on 31 December 1861. After studying English, he began his medical studies (at the American university) that lasted 4 years. Graduated in 1882, he brilliantly passed examination of the colloquium in Constantinople and returned to the Lebanon to practice medicine in Gbeil during winter and in Deir el Kamar during summer. Author of various articles in magazines Al-Mashriq Al-Mouktataf, he also wrote in the newspaper Al-Bashir a series of popular medical articles which were published subsequently by the Catholic press. In 1916, he was exiled with his family by the ottomans to Kirchehir in Anatolia. Returning to the Lebanon in 1919, general Gouraud appointed him doctor of the official schools of Beirut. In addition to its medical activities, Dr. Georges Baz occupied for several years Chairman of the municipal Council of Gbeil. He retired in 1929 and died in Beirut on March 3, 1956 in his 95 th year.

As for Quinine, a medicine for preventing or treating malaria fever, it’s use was well known. The young doctor Darwiche Baz (great uncle of Dr G. Baz, cited before), who can be considered as the first graduate Lebanese doctor, was the one who popularized the use of white quinine or kina baida (quinine sulfate). It was imported then from Egypt. Despite its beneficial effects, white quinine had significant side effects (ringing in the ear, dizziness and vomiting). A popular prejudice had spread the idea that this product was so toxic that it deserved the appellation of ‘cure of healing or death’.

During French mandat and until 1953, Gramiccia assesed the endemic prevelance of the disease. The affected population was 6% in the northern coastal region. In the hills, it was only 1-3% although, in the Oronte it reached11% while the disease was frankly endemic in the Bekaa valley.


All this information is now only of historical value



Postcard written from Zahle by Dr Farid Graieb in 1928 to a pharmaceutical labarotary in Paris requesting antimalarial medicine because the disease is rampant in quantity in the Bekaa.



Another postcard written from Sur, a coastal city in Lebanon, in 1931 by Dr Farhat, to request antimalarial medicine.

  • In 1956 a local eradication program was launched and it resulted in complete curtailment of the transmission.
  • It is at the European conference on the eradication of malaria in Palermo on March 31, 1960, that W.H.O. declared 1962 as the year for the eradication of malaria.
  • Lebanon joined the campaign by emitting two stamps:


Design size: 25 x 36 mm

Designer: P. Korolef

Producer: J. Saikali, Beirut

Stamp margins: designer’s name lower left; printer’s name lower right

Process: lithography

Format: panes of 50 (10 x 5)


Paper: white

Watermark: none

Perforation: 13½ x 13

Purpose: publicized the malaria eradication campaign

Sub-topics: mosquito; modified design #1

Various FDC from Lebanon were reported:



To symbolize this malaria campaign, an emblem was adopted by the majority of countries: a mosquito bearing a world globe with the Caduceus.

The risk of disease can be reduced by preventing mosquito bites, by using mosquito nets and insect repellents, or with mosquito-control measures such as spraying insecticides and draining standing water.

International struggle against Malaria -FDC



The arab states united to fight Malaria-FDC



  • In 1963, World Health Organization declared Lebanon a country free of malaria.
  • Since then we had few breakouts of limited local transmission in 1996 and 1998-99, but the majority of cases was imported from areas with ongoing malaria transmission (around 130 case/year).


In the majority of reported cases Lebanese travelers acquired malaria abroad and had not adhered to a chemoprophylaxis regimen that was appropriate for the country in which they acquired the infection.

  • Lebanon continues to be free of indigenous cases of malaria.

But with the globalization and ease of travel, importation of malaria cases from endemic areas will be in continuous rising, thus the importance of strengthening the capacity of the primary health sectors in travel medicine to reduce the morbidity and to prevent the mortality of imported cases.


These infected cases reveal the existence of vector borne disease transmission during airplane travel, and emphasize the importance of obtaining a travel history during the evaluation of an ill patient. In addition, the cases reinforce the need for vigilance in the control of vectors of disease around seaports, airports and hospitals.

Will we see malaria back in Lebanon ?

In January 2016, Lebanon recorded one malaria death (a lebanese plane hostess returning from Abidjan), the first to occur in several years, raising fear over the possibility that it could become a widespread concern in the country with the garbage crisis. And of course the media gave the situation an image more dramatic than it really is.

Nevertheless, the detritus is supplying both an abode and a food resource for mosquito larvae. Thus has the number of mosquitoes in the country risen and specially bringing them into closer contact with people. It is stupid to deny the existence of garbage -related infections. Rats, flies and mosquitos are reservoires and vectors for disease.

It is also known that changes in temperature result in changes of mosquito behavior with the potential to become a serious health threat as a bridge vector of zoonotic pathogens to humans

The risk for the reappearance of malaria in Lebanon where it was previously eradicated exists but is relatively small ; Fortunately malaria is mainly a travel medicine issue.

How unhealthy a country Lebanon has become !



This advertisement on cover is no longer valid!



1936 The “RAIF” error in the touristic stamps of Moustafa Farroukh

Moustafa Farrouk 1950s

Moustafa Farroukh in 1950

Moustafa Farroukh (in Arabic مصطفى فروخ) (born 1901 – died 1957) was one of Lebanon’s most prominent painters of the 20th century. During his famed career, Farroukh produced over 2000 paintings most of which were acquired by collectors both in Lebanon and abroad. He also wrote five books including a biography.

This is what written on his biography on Wikipedia, but few know that he was also appointed in 1936 to run one of the two subjects for Lebanese stamps issued to promote tourism (fig. 1)


fig.1 – The only two subjects used for the series of eight stamps issued to promote tourism. At the left the work of Farrouk(h) and on the right that one of Philippe Mourani, descriptively more challenging but less successful by the compositional point of view.

For Farroukh it came to take up the theme to him more congenial: the landscape (fig. 2). And in fact the result is masterful, making this stamp the most beautiful stamp ever issued in Lebanon, in my humble opinion naturally (fig. 3).

paesaggio M Farroukfig.2 A typical landscape painting by Farouk.

Baia-di-Djounieh-piccolofig.3 Enlargement of the central part of the 3 Piastres green stamp.

Reading the catalog Yvert, we deduce that the stamps of this issue were sold with surcharge, although this is not clearly mentioned on the stamps. But it is plausible if we take into consideration the few envelopes and postcards franked with these stamps. The final designs of the subjects of the stamps were delivered to the French print house Helio Vaugirard for to be transferred on the plates for the photo-engraving, the new technique of which the Parisian company was forefront at the time. From the main matrix is obtained a horizontal row of five “carryovers” of the print, which vertically reproduced five times, constitute the gummy plate served to print the sheets of twenty-five stamps (fig. 4).piccola

fig. 4 – The complete sheet of twenty-five stamps of 1 Piastre.

But during the plate reproduction of the third row, the middle row, the bottom of the composition of five stamps was “lost” for a height of about ¼ of a millimeter. The size seems ridiculous, however this provoked a curious and interesting transformation of the lower engraved text: “BAIE DE DJOUNIE” was turned into “RAIF DE DJOUNIE” for the loss of the lower “B” and “E” parts (figures 5 and 6).

Raiffig. 5 – One stamps of the central row with the characteristic “RAIF” error.

grandefig. 6 – The complete sheet of 1 Piastre with the “RAIF” error on the five central stamps row. Courtesy of Mr. R.B.

This error is known to all four values of 1, 3, 10 and 15 Piastres (fig. 7). Find them on envelope becomes difficult but not impossible, those sent on cover are very few, to which to add the ratio of normal stamps and those with error is of 1 on 5 (figures 8, 9 and 10).

144fig. 7 – The 1, 3 and 15 Piastres stamps with the “RAIF” error.

115fig. 8 – The 10 Piastres stamp with the “RAIF” error and other normal values used on air mail cover sent from Aley on 30/10/1936.

17fig. 9 – The 15 Piastres stamp with the “RAIF” error (is the most rare value) used solo on air mail cover sent from Aley on 16/10/1936.

16fig. 10 – The 3 Piastres with the “RAIF” error and other normal values used on a registered cover sent from Aley on 13/10/1936.

I would add a great “good catch”.

Bernardo Longo

Monochrome collection with multiple franking

                                                    Monochrome collection with multiple franking

Multiple franking is often spectacular.

Many collectors will pay particular attention to such items. This is particularly the case in Germany and in the German-speaking countries but also in Anglo-Saxon countries. Thus the Michel Catalogue rating this type of postage usually gives important added value. It is all justified more easily that finding this kind of documents is sometimes very difficult.


Multiple franking, means a composition of a single value, stripes, blocks or more isolated copies of the stamp, without the addition of other values (in this case one speaks of mixed franking whose value, unless facing an exceptional postal rate, are much lower).


To give a hint of scarcity, you should know that it is necessary to handle hundreds of letters to hope to find one, and I am far from exaggerating. It is necessary to be armed of a lot of patience to find some.

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                                United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

                             And some philatelic considerations on its third session in Beirut 1948

UNESCO is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN). Its purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter.

The General Conference is the main body of UNESCO. The General Conference determines the orientation and the general line of the organization. It meets annually in ordinary session during the fourth quarter. The seat of the session changes each year.

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Did you know?

                                                                                 Untitled-0 Did you know?Untitled-0


On June 2011, Libanpost put into circulation a stamp to honor President Sleiman Frangieh, nearly 40 years after the end of his mandate!

Mr. FRANGIEH was Lebanon’s president from 22 September 1970 till 22 September 1976.

Sleiman Frangieh’s Presidential portrait, 1970.     Untitled-2

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Anti-Tuberculosis seal stamps on Lebanese covers

Tuberculosis (TB) has been known to mankind since ancient times. Earlier this disease has been called by numerous names including consumption (because of the severe weight loss and the way the infection appeared to “consume” the patient), phthisis pulmonaris and the white plague (because of the extreme pallor seen among those infected). In the 19th century, Tuberculosis became epidemic in Europe where annual mortality rates were around 1,000 per 100,000 per year ! In the end of the 19th century, it was believed that the mountain fresh air and over-feeding in an establishment more like a luxury hotel than a hospital would strengthen the patient. That’s why sanatoriums establishments appeared. Treatment in sanatoriums quickly spread throughout Europe and America. Until the advent of chemotherapy, sanatoriums were the best alternative to treatment, especially in the beginning stages of the disease.
TB Charity Seals are Charity Seals which were issued to support sanatoriums, or for anti-tuberculosis campaigns. The use of TB Charity Seals began in Denmark and other Scandinavian countries beginning in 1904. In the United States, the Red Cross issued seals to fund anti-tuberculosis campaigns and sanatoriums beginning in 1907. They were soon issued by various societies to support anti-TB campaigns in states, counties, and for public and private hospitals and sanatariums. These TB-seals where also called Christhmas seals because they where sold around Christmas time, a favorable period for generosity and compassion.

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