Meet the Cat Man of Syria's War-torn Aleppo

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Mohammed Alaa al-Jaleel carries a cat on his shoulder at Ernesto's Cat Sanctuary that he runs in Kfar Naha, an opposition-held town in Aleppo province in Syria on March 17, 2018.
Mohammed Alaa al-Jaleel carries a cat on his shoulder at Ernesto's Cat Sanctuary that he runs in Kfar Naha, an opposition-held town in Aleppo province in Syria on March 17, 2018. Credit: OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP
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Haaretz
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Haaretz

The 43-year-old, al-Jaleel who grew up in Aleppo, has been mad about cats since he was a boy. As the war raged in Syria and cat lovers fled the city, he was left with 170 cats to feed and a new nickname: the Cat Man of Aleppo.

A cat sits at the entrance of the sleeping area of Ernesto's Cat Sanctuary in Kfar Naha, an opposition-held town in Aleppo province in Syria on March 17, 2018, Credit: OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP
Cats feed on mincemeat at lunchtime on March 17, 2018, at Ernesto's Cat Sanctuary run by Mohammed Alaa al-Jaleel in Kfar Naha, an opposition-held town in Aleppo province in Syria. Credit: OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP
Mohammed Alaa al-Jaleel pets cats at Ernesto's Cat Sanctuary that he runs in Kfar Naha, an opposition-held town in Aleppo province in Syria on March 17, 2018. Credit: OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP
Mohammed Alaa al-Jaleel holds a feline patient on her back as an ultrasound probe is rolled across her pregnant belly on March 17, 2018.Credit: OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP
Cats feed on mincemeat at lunchtime on March 17, 2018, at Ernesto's Cat Sanctuary run by Mohammed Alaa al-Jaleel in Kfar Naha, an opposition-held town in Aleppo province in Syria.Credit: OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP
A volunteer grinds mincemeat to feed cats at Ernesto's Cat Sanctuary run by Mohammed Alaa al-Jaleel in Kfar Naha, an opposition-held town in Aleppo province in Syria on March 17, 2018. Credit: OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP
Mohammed Alaa al-Jaleel plays with a cat at Ernesto's Cat Sanctuary that he runs in Kfar Naha, an opposition-held town in Aleppo province in Syria on March 17, 2018. Credit: OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP
Mohammed Alaa al-Jaleel holds a feline near marble cubes used as houses at Ernesto's Cat Sanctuary that he runs in Kfar Naha, an opposition-held town in Aleppo province in Syria on March 17, 2018. Credit: OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP
Mohammed Alaa al-Jaleel holds a feline patient as it gets its teeth checked on March 17, 2018, at Ernesto's Cat Sanctuary that he runs in Kfar Naha, an opposition-held town in Aleppo province in SyriaCredit: OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP

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