After a major invasion of the Gaza Strip in late 2008, twenty-year-old Mahmoud Barghout decided to become a zookeeper. He saw that the children around him were exhausted by war, and so to provide respite, he set up the Happy Land Zoo. But the war made feeding and caring for the animals impossible—they died of thirst, hunger, or injury—and replacing them meant finding large sums of money and overcoming the blockade or the risk of bringing them in through tunnels connecting the Strip to Egypt. So Mr. Barghout came up with a solution for at least one animal: he dyed two local white donkeys with dark stripes, to create zebras, which visiting children could touch and even ride.
The Story of Hurry recounts the tale of these “made in Gaza” zebras, of an inventive zookeeper just like Mr. Barghout, and of the wondrous capacity of the imagination of children. Written by Emma Williams, together with thought-provoking mixed-media illustrations by Ibrahim Quraishi, this picture book for inquisitive children aged 3 to 103 includes an historical note for parents, teachers, and librarians.
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