Mohammad Alaa Jaleel lives in Aleppo, Syria. With his country being war-torn and residents fleeing to other countries to take refuge, Jaleel has stayed behind, risking his own life, to take care of stray cats and cats left behind by their owners. Jaleel runs a sanctuary to take care of the cats, providing them food and shelter. He is now also known as, “The Cat Man of Aleppo”.
At first there was only 20 to 30 cats, but after a year later, Jaleel now looks after over a hundred.
This cat sanctuary has become known in Aleppo and Jaleel even recalls a story about a little girl giving her kitten to him. The little girl’s family was fleeing Syria to move to Turkey, and Jaleel was asked to take care of her little kitten she had raised. To this day, Jaleel sends photos of her kitten growing up in the sanctuary where she asks Jaleel, “Please promise to return my cat to me when we come back.”
These cats have become Jaleel’s friends and Jaleel emotionally says that he’ll stay with them no matter what happens.
Some may think it’s crazy that a man is risking his life for cats but Jaleel says, “Someone who has mercy in their heart for people has mercy for every living thing.”