Giving voice to the remarkable Cat Man of Aleppo, the latest book from historian Diana Darke shares a shocking but inspirational story from war torn Syria.
An electrician turned ambulance driver from Aleppo, Alaa Aljaleel decided to stay behind when war broke out in Syria, caring for the people and animals caught in the crossfire. While thousands were forced to flee, Alaa spent his days carrying out perilous rescue missions in his makeshift ambulance and building a sanctuary for the city’s abandoned cats.
Speaking only Arabic, the Cat Man, Alaa, told Diana his story via a hundred podcasts that he sent in reply to her questions.
“This is the first time a memoir about the war in Syria has appeared from a Syrian civilian who is still inside the country, and, as far as I have been able to establish, the first time a western Arabic-speaking woman has provided ‘the voice’ of an Arab man in this way,” comments Diana.