Death of Bin Laden and Philately

The death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of American military forces is an important stride in the ten year war against terrorism. Bin Laden has been quiet in recent years but as long as he was free the idea that a terrorist could attack the United States and not pay the ultimate price must have made terrorism more attractive to many of the dispossessed around the world. When you bracket the end of the Bin Laden era with the beginning of an era of new freedom in much of the Arab world (symbolized by the revolution in Egypt) we are entering an era when young Arabs will begin to look to economic growth rather than terrorism to provide them with meaning in their lives. Many people have long been of the opinion the possibility of a good job, a wife, a home and a family could provide an attractive alternative to the idea of strapping a bomb around one’s waist and detonating it on a crowded bus. The fall of Mubarek and Bin Laden bodes well for the possibility of millions of young Arabs to find more productive meaning in life. And the prospect for philately is positive. The stamps of China and India have risen rapidly in price as the economies of those countries have improved and thousands began collecting stamps. The same movement towards philately should occur in Egypt where earlier stamps are very scarce and only a small increase in local demand will bring significant increase in prices. Now is a moment to enjoy the sense of relief that our country’s greatest enemies are gone. And while you do that, try adding some early Egyptian stamps to your collection.

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