“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.” ― Jean Cocteau

Saturday, 9 March 2019

The Cat man of Aleppo has returned

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You might remember the story of the Cat Man of Aleppo? For those that don't, he was a local hero - dedicating (and risking his life) to help cats in the war-torn city of Aleppo, Syria. If you want more information about him, you can find our previous post here.
Unfortunately, not long after we reported on that, Mohammad Aljaleel had to abandon his sanctuary, watching helplessly as everything he had worked towards was destroyed. Sadly, most of his cats were killed, due to the Russian and Syrian fighter jets.

He was forced from one district to another, witnessing scenes that we can't even imagine. Throughout his move, he continued to search for cats and injured people, rescuing them and driving them to underground hospitals. He eventually left in December 2016, his van was filled with people and just six cats, the only ones remaining from his original 180.

He sought refuge in Turkey, but decided to return back to Syria, and established a new cat sanctuary - bigger than his original one. Cat lovers all over the world donated money via Facebook and Twitter, helping Aljaleel to help the community and the cats.

He, and his wonderful team of helpers have dug wells, stockpiled food, and found generators. They set up animal welfare courses for children, even at the height of the bombings.  The team strongly believes that teaching children about animal compassion, teaches them to be more caring and helpful people. Something which the world needs at the moment.   They have even developed a playground next to the sanctuary, which acts as escapism for the children. The most innocent of people in Aleppo are now being protected and given a chance to have fun.
Picture: Twitter / @theAleppoCatman


In fact, the new sanctuary now has an orphanage, a kindergarten, and a veterinary clinic. Aljalel has taken it upon himself to provide the services that the government won't, or can't provide.

Aljaleel states; "Children and animals are the big losers in the Syrian war." Even through the troubles, that many of us can't fathom going through, he has remained positive and kept a focus to help animals and children. He decided to carry on, when it would have been easier to give up.

Where he lives now, there are limited laws, and he has even tried to be kidnapped a few times. He is a shining symbol of how anybody and everybody can make a difference. So much so, his new sanctuary now has cats, dogs, chickens, rabbits and monkeys. 

Aljaleel's hard work hasn't gone unnoticed. His reputation passes social media - he is known throughout Syria, and the government are very much aware of his activities. In 2018, he was asked to help at the Magic World Zoo, as the neglected lions, tigers and bears needed feeding. He was able to arrange for these majestic creatures to be transported to Belgium, the Netherlands, and Jordan. 

Picture: Twitter / @theAleppoCatman

The challenges remain in Syria, every day brings new challenges for Aljaleel, but he has made it abundantly clear that he wants to stay in Syria, helping animals and humans. 
If you would like to donate money, you can do so by clicking here
Even spreading the word about this amazing story will help a billion. 
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