The Zoo on the Road to Nablus
2008. First edition. A fine, unmarked copy.
The last Palestinian zoo stands on a dusty, dead-end street in the once-prosperous farming town of Qalqilya, on the edge of the West Bank. The zoo's bars are rusting; peacocks wander quiet avenues shaded by broad plane trees; a teenage baboon broods in solitary confinement; Ruti the giraffe nibbles dry leaves from an overhanging branch; walls bear the pockmarks of gunfire. And yet the zoo is an extraordinary place, with a bizarre, troubling and inspiring story to tell. At its centre 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 calibre, and of lasting peace in his homeland... In The Zoo on the Road to Nablus, Amelia Thomas takes the reader to a world rarely glimpsed from the outside, weaving extraordinary stories of the zoo's animals, its visitors, and the courageous vet who decided to save it, into a rich and colourful chronicle of the strength of the human