Yousef Ali Alzaoby

Yousef Ali Alzaoby

Research Associate - Base: Daraa, Syria

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On 10 April 2012, the Global Owl Project learned the sad news that Yousef Ali Alzaoby had been killed in his home town of Daraa as a result of the ongoing conflict in Syria. Yousef was 54 years old and a retired teacher. A life-long birdwatcher, Yousef's intimate knowledge of the Yarmouk Valley and Harrah regions of southern Syria was invaluable to the ornithological research of the region. As well as his field work, Yousef was also collecting valuable data for the Global Owl Project's ongoing research into the folklore and myths surrounding owls. In a region where ancient superstitions would often make interviews on the subject taboo, Yousef successfully managed to work through all levels of the social structure; from city dwellers to desert Bedouin. None of Yousef's work would have been easy for him, but his courage and character could never be questioned. Yousef will be sorely missed.


Yousef putting up a Barn Owl nest box on top of his house in January 2011.