The Zoo on the Road to Nablus: A Story of Survival on the West Bank


The last Palestinian zoo stands on a dusty, dead-end street in the once prosperous farming town of Qalqilya, on the very edge of the West Bank. The zoo's bars are rusting; peacocks wander down 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.


THE ZOO ON THE ROAD TO NABLUS: A story of Survival on the West Bank brings readers 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.


Listen to Amelia Thomas discuss The Zoo on the Road to Nablus on the NPR program Talk of The Nation



North American publisher: Public Affairs

Foreign rights: Public Affairs, Jennifer Thompson (

Foreign rights sold: UK to Perseus Books; Australia/New Zealand to Pan MacMillan

Film Rights: Gillian MacKenzie (



“Sharply drawn and achingly lyrical”—Jen Vuk of Eureka Street

“The Zoo on the Way to Nablus is beautifully written and entertaining”—Ibtisam Barakat of The Washington Post

"Engaging and deftly told…this book is a unique and fascinating account”—Publishers Weekly