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Father of Lions


A true-to-life narrative of one man's remarkable quest to save the Mosul Zoo.
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Discuss Father of Lions by Louise Callaghan:
Dr. Amir is accused of conspiring to steal the animals and being a spy. Why do you think the men are so distrustful of Dr. Amir, no matter how many times he tries to explain his reason for being there?

Created: 01/13/20

Replies: 11

Posted Jan. 13, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2332

Dr. Amir is accused of conspiring to steal the animals and being a spy. Why do you think the men are so distrustful of Dr. Amir, no matter how many times he tries to explain his reason for being there?

When Dr. Amir is being interrogated by the men in the empty restaurant, they accuse him of conspiring to steal the animals and being a spy. Why do you think they are so distrustful of Dr. Amir, no matter how many times he tries to explain his reason for being there?


Posted Feb. 01, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PinkLady

Join Date: 01/22/18

Posts: 91

RE: Dr. Amir is accused of conspiring to steal the animals and being a spy. Why do you think the men are so distrustful of Dr. Amir, no matter how many times he tries to explain his reason for being there?

At a time of such unrest and in an area where you don't always know friends or enemies, it must have been difficult to trust a man that just wanted to save animals and not make money off them. And difficult to understand why he would possibly do it without some hidden motive.


Posted Feb. 01, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
katherinep

Join Date: 07/16/14

Posts: 244

RE: Dr. Amir is accused of conspiring to steal the animals and being a spy. Why do you think the men are so distrustful of Dr. Amir, no matter how many times he tries to explain his reason for being there?

Who do you trust and/or believe in a situation as unstable and sectioned into so many splinter groups as is the condition in Iraq?


Posted Feb. 01, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 301

RE: Dr. Amir is accused of conspiring to steal the animals and being a spy. Why do you think the men are so distrustful of Dr. Amir, no matter how many times he tries to explain his reason for being there?

He was an outsider who had not established a relationship of trust with the men -- and previous men who had been interested in the animals were at least rumored to have economic motives for their interest. In a non-trusting climate like the one described here, it is easy to understand their suspicion.


Posted Feb. 02, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
TerryPark

Join Date: 09/03/19

Posts: 21

RE: Dr. Amir is accused of conspiring to steal the animals and being a spy. Why do you think the men are so distrustful of Dr. Amir, no matter how many times he tries to explain his reason for being there?

I am sure the accusers believed Dr. Amir to be taking the lion so he would be paid for it. Taking the lion as a humane gesture at such a great risk would be hard to believe. It would be much easier to believe the lion was worth money, or that the lion was a clever way to sneak in to steal secrets.


Posted Feb. 03, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 285

RE: Dr. Amir is accused of conspiring to steal the animals and being a spy. Why do you think the men are so distrustful of Dr. Amir, no matter how many times he tries to explain his reason for being there?

In a country with so many groups vying for power and position and even basic survival - how can any one know who to trust? Many of these people are following orders to save their own lives - in light of what is going on within the country and city, Dr. Amir's claim may seem foolish and simple to many of the people he encounters.


Posted Feb. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorinned

Join Date: 10/13/14

Posts: 128

RE: Dr. Amir is accused of conspiring to steal the animals and being a spy. Why do you think the men are so distrustful of Dr. Amir, no matter how many times he tries to explain his reason for being there?

Abu Laith is partly to blame for this because he wasn't honest with Ibrahim when he informed him that Dr. Amir was going to take the animals out of Mosul to a zoo where they could thrive and be out of harm's way. Ibrahim roused the authorities against Dr. Amir because he thought he should receive some monetary payment for his animals, even though they were about to die and would be worth nothing dead.


Posted Feb. 05, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jennie r

Join Date: 08/06/17

Posts: 48

RE: Dr. Amir is accused of conspiring to steal the animals and being a spy. Why do you think the men are so distrustful of Dr. Amir, no matter how many times he tries to explain his reason for being there?

I think it’s because they’ve already lost so much, and the animals are one of the last things they have to call ‘theirs’. His explanations were likely not well understood because of the language barrier, but also because emotions were high and tension was all around.


Posted Feb. 09, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
LWReads

Join Date: 08/09/18

Posts: 21

RE: Dr. Amir is accused of conspiring to steal the animals and being a spy. Why do you think the men are so distrustful of Dr. Amir, no matter how many times he tries to explain his reason for being there?

I agree with PinkLady and several others. In that war-torn country it must have been difficult for them to believe that his only interest was in saving the animals. They believed he had to have had monetary motives, or there was something even more sinister behind his actions.


Posted Feb. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kathleenb

Join Date: 09/14/12

Posts: 102

RE: Dr. Amir is accused of conspiring to steal the animals and being a spy. Why do you think the men are so distrustful of Dr. Amir, no matter how many times he tries to explain his reason for being there?

I think PinkLady sums it up very well. Distrust was the modus operandi in Iraq at that time. Also, animals were not valued in their culture.


Posted Feb. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kellyo

Join Date: 09/15/16

Posts: 53

RE: Dr. Amir is accused of conspiring to steal the animals and being a spy. Why do you think the men are so distrustful of Dr. Amir, no matter how many times he tries to explain his reason for being there?

I believe a lot of people do not view animals as sentient beings. They are viewed as commodities that are for humane profit, explotation or entertainment. The original owner of the zoo animals clearly did not value them. They were there to make him money. He was not concerned with their well being nor did he see them as living creatures with feelings. He did not care that they were starving or suffering. People were suspicious of someone wanting these nearly dead animals. They could not even begin to understand that someone just wanted to make the animals lives better. They believed the only reason anyone would want the animals was because they could gain a lot of money from them. The owner orginally agreed to give Dr. Amir the animals, but later changed his story implying that he was stealing them.


Posted Feb. 15, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janeh

Join Date: 06/15/11

Posts: 185

RE: Dr. Amir is accused of conspiring to steal the animals and being a spy. Why do you think the men are so distrustful of Dr. Amir, no matter how many times he tries to explain his reason for being there?

People who are extremists are very distrustful of anyone not like them .... anyone they can't control. They don't care about the animals, in this instance, they just don't want anyone else to have them, even if they
can't provide the basic necessities for the animals. If they were truly men of God, as they profess to be, they would welcome the help to get the animals to safety and bless the people willing to help them to safety. They see the world as US and THEM ...... if you truly work to know THEM, you might find they are a lot like US.


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