Meet Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel, also known as ‘the cat man of Aleppo,’ Syria. Aljaleel is staying there – ”no matter what happens” – to take care of more than a hundred abandoned and stray cats.
The city of Aleppo has been a dangerous, war-torn zone for years, and approximately 40,000 people have fled the city to save their lives, including most of Aljaleel’s friends. Before the Syrian war, Mohammad was an electrician. However, since the conflict started, he has driven ambulances in the city, rescuing people in need, and even established a cat sanctuary Il Gattaro d’Aleppo.
lt all started with 20 cute cats, but now there are over 100 of these abandoned animals. “When people left, their house cats started coming to me… Some people just left them with me, knowing that I love cats.’ – Aljaleel told BBC News.
Once, a little girl came to Aljaleel’s animal shelter with a kitten.”She cried as she handed her over to me and they left the country”. The girl told him she would miss their family pet terribly, and asked Aljaleel to send her cat’s pictures… and so he does.
‘Someone who has mercy in their heart for humans has mercy for every living thing.’