Saturday, February 24, 2024 | Sha'ban 13, 1445 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Still nothing like a letter in a post box!

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Receiving a personal letter was, for the alumni of my age, an event rather than a feature of ordinary life. It was a wonderful experience that would incite excitement!


Till a few decades ago, the post-box used to be a treasure trove of letters from relatives and friends, cards of different festivities, or other official or personal correspondence embellishing the serendipity of our lives. Adding to the personal touch was a handwritten note or a signature.


And sometimes, letters help us express our feelings in a way that we can't over the phone, through e-mail, or even in person.


Many of those letters contained the tears of those loved ones who would stay far away. Remembering or reading those lines in the letters once again after years makes me feel that I am entering another birth of my life.


However, the grand age of the personal written letter is very rapidly passing. Today, handwritten letters have gone out of fashion, and letter boxes are not conspicuous anymore. So is the art form of handwritten letters!


Similarly, a postman played a very important role in delivering not only handwritten letters describing joyful or sorrowful emotions but also current news and hope.


In many countries in the Third World, the most welcoming guest to homes, especially in remote villages, is supposed to be the postman. But unfortunately, it is now a profession that is gradually ebbing away from our memory!


Those ubiquitous red letter boxes on the streets have also gone the way of land phones. Today, letters in general pertain to advertisements, annual meetings, government-related communication, bulk posting of journals, and specific copies of some local newspapers and magazines.


The same is the case with philately or stamp collections. It has seen a great deal of decline in recent years, as it is not as popular among young people as it once was. It doesn’t enjoy the cachet that it did in the past, reflecting the fragmentation of our overall culture and the proliferation of other niche interests.


World Post Day on October 9 is a day dedicated to celebrating the postal sector and its contributions to global communication and commerce. It acknowledges the postal services’ role in connecting individuals, businesses, and governments and facilitating the exchange of letters, parcels, and documents.


Significantly, with more than one billion post offices throughout the world, the postal network is the biggest physical network in the world. Post offices are everywhere, from the capitals of bigger industrialized countries to small rural towns in the least developed countries.


However, the postal departments all over are sprucing up their services in accordance with the changes for their survival. New products and services are adding a contemporary resonance to it.


During the Covid-19 pandemic, the postal services in many countries provided vital services, including the delivery of critical items such as medications and other essential commodities. Further, the postal service is the leading delivery service provider for online purchases.


The future generation may ponder the inconvenience rather than the emotions contained in letters from yesteryear, where their ancestors had to buy an envelope or cover, write it on paper, go to the post office, fix stamps, and post it. Again, it would take a few days to reach the other person's hand.


Letters have always been a nice way to show someone when they are gone that you're thinking about them. Reading them now, after so many years, shows why we are as close as we are today. Now, postal letters are only nostalgic memories.


Of course, in a world of online shopping, there are still plenty of parcel deliveries. The thrill of the letter may be gone, but as long as those boxes keep arriving,


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