- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
The zoo's bars are rusting; peacocks wander quiet avenues shaded by broad plane trees; a teenage baboon broods in solitary confinement; walls bear the pockmarks of gunfire. And yet the zoo is an extraordinary place, with a bizarre, troubling and inspiring story to tell. At the center of this story is Dr. Sami Khader, the only zoo ...
The zoo's bars are rusting; peacocks wander quiet avenues shaded by broad plane trees; a teenage baboon broods in solitary confinement; walls bear the pockmarks of gunfire. And yet the zoo is an extraordinary place, with a bizarre, troubling and inspiring story to tell. At the center of this story is Dr. Sami Khader, the only zoo veterinarian in the Palestinian territories. Family man, amateur inventor, and dedicated taxidermist, he is fiercely independent, apolitical, and resourceful in times of crisis. Dr. Sami dreams of transforming the zoo into one of an international caliber.
In The Zoo on the Road to Nablus, Amelia Thomas brings the reader into a world rarely glimpsed from the outside, weaving the stories of the zoo's animals, its staff, and its visitors into a rich, colorful chronicle of the indomitability of the human—and animal—spirit.
This engaging and deftly told book shines a light on a lesser-known victim of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Palestine's last zoo, located in battle-ravaged Qalqilya, surrounded by Israel. British journalist Thomas recounts a year and a half in the life of the zoo, following zoo veterinarian Dr. Sami Khader's dogged-often futile-attempts to transform a neglected menagerie into an institution of international caliber. An enormously sympathetic portrait emerges of Khader's travails-his grief over the deaths of beloved animals and his struggles to secure funding from a distracted government. Thomas crafts richly detailed depictions of the zoo, and her animal anecdotes are prefaced with meticulous-often tedious-histories of their origins (the introduction to the lion touches upon Charlemagne, Cicero and the 1893 Chicago World's Fair). Despite the lengthy historical asides, this book is a unique and fascinating account of one man's persistence and his fierce dedication to his animal friends. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Qalqilya is a formerly prosperous Palestinian town with 50,000 or so residents on the edge of the West Bank; it is also home to a decrepit zoo, the victim of years of deprivation caused by the intifada. Thomas, a British correspondent for the Christian Science Monitorand other publications, engagingly tells how Sami Khader, the only zoo veterinarian in the Palestinian territories, tries to transform the Qalqilya Zoo from one of squalor into something of beauty. His goal is simple-to re-create a world-class zoo; the implementation is not so simple, given the violence, corruption, and politics in the region. Without criticizing individuals or editorializing on local politics, Thomas has written an enlightening and even entertaining account of a man with a dream during difficult times. The writing is sometimes uneven or rough, especially dialog, but this is easily forgiven for the human interest and desire of the reader to find out what happens next. This book should appeal to readers of Lawrence Anthony's Babylon's Ark: The Incredible Wartime Rescue of the Baghdad Zooand Diane Ackerman's The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story. Recommended for public libraries.
Posted December 19, 2013
Posted October 26, 2008
No text was provided for this review.