Tuesday, November 29, 2005

My mission

Ever since I was a child I have always been fascinated with global happenings. This interest in international affairs has taken me on a journey in life. It started off with a pen pal in Osaka, Japan and more recently with various trips abroad.

In grad school I took courses in international business and during a few lectures I scribbled some sort of a letter to the leaders of a handful of countries and dropped them in the mail. I didn't think twice about them until I started receiving photographs and letters from kings, presidents, and prime ministers from around the world.

Since then I have always wanted to properly pull off a project by which I would correspond with each of the 200+ world leaders. I would compliment them on a fine job well done and request an autographed photo of themselves.

I'm happy to report that I have finally embarked on this long-awaited project. I'm in the process of putting the letters together and will use this space to record each and every step of the process.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy!


Blogger Chai18 said...

sounds interesting

1:14 AM  
Anonymous Cynic said...

Very cool. Added to my bloglines. I've done something similar, I have a collection of letters I sent to US politicians and even have a couple of small-sized letters from Rudy with a handwritten signature, and two Christmas cards from him. :)

10:30 AM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Out of curiosity, how'd you come up with 208?

There are 191 member states of the UN. Plus the Vatican, which is a recognised independent state but not a UN member.

11:48 PM  
Blogger Joel said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:56 PM  
Anonymous LoveToLaugh said...

Awesome stuff! What an interesting and unusual project. Hope you keep getting those photos...

11:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cool. good idea. i got an 18th birthday card of Tony Blair's office because i live in his constituency. by the way england is a country, just like scotland, wales and northern ireland ;)

i think kim jong il would be the most impresive aquisition

5:08 PM  
Anonymous OHMS said...

In regards to the UK mail system and 'On Her Majesty's Service'.

The Royal mail is a unique postal system in that it is operated under a Royal charter. This means that mail is protected in a far more serious manner than other countries. Examples of this are as such:

Placing a stamp (all of which bear the head of the Queen) upside-down is considered treason, and (in theory) can be punishable by death.

Interfering with the royal mail is also a treasonable offence, although not prosecuted in such a way in recent times it is still possible to be hung for stopping a letter from being delivered (theft or otherwise).

Items delivered by Royal mail are considered delivered at the moment of posting, not when they are recieved. A company who centested this in a legal dispute were severly reprimanded as the assertion that this is unreasonable is considered contempt of court (Courts of justice also a being a Royal instition). The company had to be pardoned by the Queen in order that their chief executive did not have to serve life imprisonment in the tower of London.

Should a ruling Monarch die in the UK it is still on the statute books that all mail should be returned to sender as a mark of repect to the deceased Monarch. This is highly unlikely to be honoured today but it is the origin of the return address on mail. Originally undelivered mail was not sent back to the sender using this address as a matter of course, over time the presence of this address made it possible to return mail when undelivered and the mail system improved enough to do so.

The Royal mail operates (like many other countires) a free postal service for the blind. Although legislated as free up to 7 kilogrammes (15 pounds) only, there is no record of the Royal mail ever refusing a package for free delivery to a blind person regardless of the weight or bulk.

Strange but true.

8:42 PM  
Anonymous Sam said...

What a laugh! I remember sending a picture to the Queen (of GB) when I was 7 (What it was of, I can't quite remember, I think she was waving!) and reeiving a letter of thanks with her autograph. It was treasured so well I haven't got a clue where it may be now! (Does it strike you that I have a bad memory?)
Anyway, if you can't wait to find someone who can translate the letters for you, then try Babel Fish. Type into your search engine and follow links. It's not a perfect translator, but it'll give you the jist of it!
The first line of your letter from Germany is:
For their Gluckwunsch to mine choice to the Bundeskaniera, I thank them cordially.
Now don't you feel better for knowing that?

1:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a GREAT idea!!
An enterprising teacher could make tremendous use of this idea. If not letters to world leaders, than perhaps to local, state, or national representitives. Getting to be familiar with the levels and locations of governments is knowledge that will be very helpful to the next generation.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Julie - UK said...

Interesting site, came across it and expected it to be a bit dull but throughly enjoyed reading through the correspondence you have received up until now - Was disappointed though that you weren't aware England is a Country. The United Kingdom represents the political union of the Countries of England, Scotland, Wales and Nothern Ireland. The full title is "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". Great Britain is the technical name for the largest Island in Europe and contains England, Scotland and Wales.

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Harold said...

Great idea, not sure how i stumbled upon this, but i have had a fun read this morning and shall definitely be keeping an eye out for more from you!

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Quick translation of the French Bloke's letter..

Dear Sir,

Jack got your letter. He can't be assed to thank you personally, so asked me to thank you.

He also can't be assed to send you a picture, signed or not. Basically we get loads of nutters like you asking for them and don't feel up to the job of replying.

You can, of course, buy the official picture of Jack Chirac should you fancy.

Thanks again,


10:01 AM  
Anonymous Melech said...

Very nice. Very cool.

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yoili u are sooo cool- Chani

2:44 AM  
Anonymous Charlie said...

Just out of curiosity, you mentioned that you sent letters to places like Palestine, Somaliland etc. Did you send letters to the First Ministers of Scotland, and Wales? These countries may be a part of the union with England, but they do have their own governments too.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Pinchas said...

Sweet! This is crazy. Genius, though! I'm gonna link you from my blog. Good Luck!

6:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a great idea, but reading your comments: don't you think it's time you got an education and learned some languages ? and some cultural sensitivity while you're at it ?
it wouldn't hurt to brush upon your english spelling either. Good luck!

3:47 PM  
Blogger Joel said...

I already have an education, thank you. I try to be as culturally sesitive as possible. If there's anything you object to I would appreciate you pointing it out.

Oh, and did you mean brush 'upon' or 'up on'?

3:54 PM  
Anonymous pleats said...

Nice project! Very interesting... it's great when someone has the desire to do something and actually puts the effort in- good job!

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:44 AM  
Blogger ravi india said...


I am impressed with your collection and efforts, can you help me by providing me latest postal addresses of the world leaders so that I can also send them request letter to send me AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO

4:17 AM  
Anonymous Tzvi Dvinsky said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:54 AM  
Blogger Shlomo2000 said...

Dear Yoely,

I really enjoy your adventures. When you have a chance please call me on my cell.

Your Uncle

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Ahavati said...

It's a beautiful mission and will make for a beautiful life. May you experience the joy of discovery and the pain of love through circumstance.

Always in my prayers.

11:06 PM  
Blogger khalid said...

i have visited your nice collection
and i am happy to see your good collection
i am also an collector of signedphotographs of world leaders

you may visit mine websight

with best wishes

khalid naeem

1:56 PM  

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