A Century of Moroccan Mail

TALIM Journee du timbre TALIM poste-maroc 100ansCommemorations often have a political or symbolic edge, so the 1912 establishment of French and Spanish protectorates in Morocco has been noted, but of course not celebrated.

It's different with the centenary of the Moroccan post office.  Cause for celebration – and innovation, with the first "audio stamp," which can play the national anthem on your smart phone.  And we won't draw too much attention to the establishment of the postal service under protectorate tutelage.

TALIM stamp morocco-agencies-tangier-1952In its heyday Tangier, meanwhile, had a plethora of post offices, since under the statutes governing the International Zone, "the Powers… shall be permitted to maintain at Tangier the post offices which they possess there."

There was the British Post Office, the Spanish, the German post office…  So what did the American Legation – the US didn't have a post office here – do when they wanted to mail a letter?  Stock British, Spanish, German, and Moroccan stamps, I suppose.

With the advent of email and relegation of letters to the pejorative "snail mail" category, stamps are no doubt much less a feature in most people's lives.  A pity, because they can be a wonderful geography and history lesson for young and older collectors, discovering the world TALIM stamp US-Morocco bigthrough these tiny, colorful pieces of paper.

As vehicles for commemorating noteworthy events, stamps can't be beat.  When the US and Morocco celebrated the bicentennial of the 1787 Treaty of Peace and Friendship, both countries issued a joint commemorative stamp.

With another bicentennial looming between Morocco and the United States – the 2021 commemoration of 200 years of the Tangier American Legation – perhaps Moroccan and American stamp designers should get to work imagining the symbolism of the Legation.  Perhaps our chimney bridging Zankat America, or our Pavilion and its courtyard centered on a fountain?

Gerald Loftus

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.