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The cat man of Aleppo – 2

In some ways, the world has gotten very small thanks to social media. I have friends all over the world, including one in Syria. It’s easy for us Americans to pretend that places like Syria don’t exist, that is, until you actually KNOW someone there. And this is my friend Mohammed Alaa Aljaleel. He was in Aleppo. He was there saving lives, feeding cats, finding food for people while we were sitting here, safe in our heated and air conditioned homes, trying to decide whether or not we wanted to believe that Aleppo was even a place. He made the world very small for me, indeed, posting pictures every day; of cats, of his bombed out ambulance, of people waiting in the streets for food that he was somehow able to get, partially because of donations from friends like you and me. Who believed there were fathers and mothers with kids and cats and dogs that once lived in Syria, much like we do; going to work every day, buying groceries, making dinner, and feeding their cats – but couldn’t any more. Who believed that people in Syria could be deserving of charity and compassion, even if we don’t know their language, their customs, or their religion. Today, Alaa is safe. Alaa is trying to find a sanctuary, in a safer place, for the cats he rescued for his neighbors, for the orphans who will need a safe place to play. The money came from people who care from all over the world. Some of it came from children who could afford to donate 50 cents. Others are big spenders and have written out checks that would flatten my bank account. This painting is up for auction on the Il Gattaro di Aleppo page on facebook. I hope someone I know bids on it. In these times when so much in the world looks bad to me, a small group of compassionate people helping out a guy in Syria make me feel like there is still goodness in the world.

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  1. February 21st, 2017 at 16:57 | #1

    Great story, Mimi! Am glad at least the judge in Washington state went against Trump’s initial order.

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