Homer's Heroes come from all walks of life—and Mohammad Alaa Aljaleel is one of the greatest Homer's Heroes we've ever heard of.
Alaa lives in war-torn and violent Aleppo, Syria. Though many of its residents have fled in hopes of a better life, Alaa insists that he will stay no matter what, because so many lives depend on him.
Alaa has become the guardian to over 170 cats (and a bunch of dogs!) in a land where hundreds of citizens have fled and had no choice but to leave their pets behind.Left to fend for themselves, the abandoned pet began coming to Alaa as he fed and cared for them.
As word of Alaa's kindness spread, desperate families began leaving their cats with him before leaving the country, in the hopes that his enormous heart would grow even bigger.
In one of too many such stories, a little girl, who'd raised her cat since he was a kitten, cried as she handed her furry friend over to Alaa. (Her parents had informed her that they couldn't take the cat with them.) She begged Alaa to send her pictures, and he promised he would—and now, he does! The girl pleaded, "Please promise to return my cat back to me when we come back," Alaa explained in a video by the BBC.
What started as a group of 20-30 cats grew to over 100 in a year's time. The growing need prompted Alaa to create a sanctuary, Il Gattaro d'Aleppo.
"Since everyone left the country, including my own friends, these cats have become my friends here," he said.
Along with saving hundreds of animal lives, Alaa is a paramedic who routinely saves humans from the aftermath of Aleppo's daily life of destruction and devastation.
"Someone who has mercy in their heart for people, has mercy for every living thing," Alaa told the BBC.
You can follow Alaa's remarkable efforts on the Facebook page, Nobel Peace Prize to Alaa.
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