A Syrian Town Has More Cats Than People


War-torn Syria was once one of the most beautiful countries in the Middle East. Syrians were known to be generous and kind, but it all vanished amidst the horrors of war in recent years. Still, that hasn’t stopped many people with a kind heart to act. Some, like Salah Jaar, still find kindness in their hearts to lend a helping hand to everyone who needs it. Especially when it comes to animals.

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The 32-year-old helps animals and people in need both. Even though there are days when Salah barely gets a piece of bread to eat, he allows cats on the table in his war-torn hometown of Kafr Nabl. Once a flourishing home to over 40,000 people, Kafr Nabl is nothing more than ruin that stands as living proof of the horrors of war.

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There are no more than 100 residents in the town right now, and Salah is one of them. During the bombings, many animals lost their lives and those who survived lost their owners. Hundreds of cats still roam the streets of Kafr Nabl and Salah has made it his mission to save as many as he can. He says that he has his furry friends to thank for the suffering being a bit more tolerable.

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Salah previously worked as a news reporter for a local radio station that has been destroyed in the war. The station’s founder, Raed Fares, was killed in 2018 by Islamists which left Salah in tatters. Fares was his idol and an incredible activist who also helped feed and save the felines of Kafr Nabl.

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The cats, as Salah says, need help now more than ever since Kafr Nabl is almost a ghost town. Up to 15 cats take refuge in the destroyed houses and dozens of strays can be spotted on the streets. Someone needs to take care of them and that someone is obviously Salah Jaar.

Even if he has to flee the town, he says that he’ll take as many cats with him as he can. Whenever he eats, they eat too. God bless this man for everything he’s doing. He’s a bright spark of hope in a war-torn country and with men like him, we have every hope that Syria can be rebuilt.


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