dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

Anas Alkharboutli, “The cat man of Aleppo: rescuing battle-weary Syrian strays,” The Guardian, Aug. 6, 2019 https://www.theguardian.com/world/gallery/2019/aug/06/the-cat-man-of-aleppo-rescuing-battle-weary-syrian-strays.

Pix of Mohammed Alaa Al-Jaleel rescuing animals in bombed-out Syrian town of Khan Sheikhun. I’ve written about him before — here, with a quote from Mr. Rogers — “look for the helpers” — and background on a Muslim tradition of caring for cats and feeding feral cat colonies; and here, linking to a BBC story about expansion of the sanctuary after he fled Aleppo and re-established it in Kafr Naha, in neighboring Idlib province.

The online edition of London’s Daily Mail ran more of Alkharboutli’s photos, with an backgrounder and detailed cutlines (more detailed than the Guardian’s) for the photos. Story and cutlines by Mail Online staff writer James Wood, who summed up his article with these dot points:

  • Mohammed Alaa al-Jaleel stayed behind in Aleppo after a civil war broke out in the middle-eastern city in 2011
  • The 44-year-old ambulance driver took care of hundreds of stray cats left behind when families fled their pets 
  • But in 2016 his first sanctuary was bombed and then gassed during the intense final stages of the siege of city
  • He is now working from a new sanctuary in Kafr Naha, a village in opposition-held countryside west of Aleppo

Several of the pix show al-Jaleel searching for abandoned cats in “the rubble of a bombed-out area in Khan Shaykhun, northern Syria where he is searching for living cats to transport them to his sanctuary. In late 2016, his first sanctuary was bombed and then chlorine-gassed during the intense final stages of the siege of Aleppo. Most of his 170 cats were lost or killed.”

Cite: James Wood, “‘Cat man of Aleppo’ continues his brave battle to care for the distressed strays struggling to stay alive in city shattered by Syria’s civil war,” Daily Mail, Aug. 7, 2019 https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7329993/Cat-man-Aleppo-continues-brave-battle-care-distressed-strays-city-shattered-war.html?fbclid=IwAR2RP6csWHQgaE9OvB7zbOymyl2IAkCjpCqt9yitZHvYLwdbLgRE_Z6naBs.

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