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Irene Latham, Karim Shamsi-Basha, and Yuko Shimizu (The Children's Book Podcast #595)

Irene Latham (@Irene_Latham), Karim Shamsi-Basha (@arabinalabama), and Yuko Shimizu (@yukoart) share THE CAT MAN OF ALEPPO. This true story is set in Syria in the town of Aleppo during recent wartime. While most of the city sought refuge and fled the city, many could not leave or chose to stay behind to help. This is a story about one of those helpers. Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel, known to all as Alaa, is an ambulance driver who stayed behind to serve his city. I’m going to let the conversation do the talking here because this is a conversation I think will really move you.

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The courageous and true story of Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel, who in the midst of the Syrian Civil War offered safe haven to Aleppo's abandoned cats.

Aleppo's city center no longer echoes with the rich, exciting sounds of copper-pot pounding and traditional sword sharpening. His neighborhood is empty--except for the many cats left behind.

Alaa loves Aleppo, but when war comes his neighbors flee to safety, leaving their many pets behind. Alaa decides to stay--he can make a difference by driving an ambulance, carrying the sick and wounded to safety. One day he hears hungry cats calling out to him on his way home. They are lonely and scared, just like him. He feeds and pets them to let them know they are loved. The next day more cats come, and then even more! There are too many for Alaa to take care of on his own. Alaa has a big heart, but he will need help from others if he wants to keep all of his new friends safe.


Irene Latham (Website)

Yuko Shimizu (Website)


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