Horse and pony - site index.Horse chat message boards.Horse breeds, types and breeding gallery.Search for horse information on Equiworld.Horse information and equestrian news horse and pony magazine.Horse web links.  

British children's author inspired by Afghan boy

An amazing trek to freedom made by a little Afghan boy and his baby donkey is now the subject of a new children's book by a top selling British author.

Fayim's Incredible Journey is a true story about seven-year-old Fayim Kalim, who fled the troubles in his homeland with his family and eight month-old donkey, called Baby. The book tells how Fayim trekked for fourteen days from north of Kabul, through the Khyber Pass - one of the most dangerous roads on earth - to the safety of a Pakistan refugee camp. The trek, also made by thousands of other refugees in the aftermath of September 2001, exacted a terrible toll on people and their animals.

Author Tessa Krailing was inspired to write the book after learning how the Brooke Hospital for Animals, a British animal welfare charity, stepped in to help Fayim and his donkey. Brooke mobile veterinary clinics gave free treatment and food rations to the working horses and donkeys of refugees arriving at the Peshawar refugee camp

The Brooke's Head of International Development Dr Bill Swann met courageous Fayim. "In many cases these animals represent the only remaining wealth of refugee families," Bill said at the time. "Baby the donkey may be small now but before too long it may be the family's only means of transport and income."

Tessa, the author of twenty books, is donating her fee and royalties from this book to the Brooke.

"I heard about Fayim and his family from the vet who treated Baby's ailments when they arrived at Peshawar," explains Tessa. "I found out that every week thousands of refugees were arriving in the camps with their sick and exhausted animals.

"To their owners these animals mean the difference between life and death. If their animals should die they have little hope of building a future in a new land. Fayim's father, like so many others, was surprised to find the treatment is free. Often this is the first kindness from strangers."

There are an estimated 30 million working equines worldwide. These animals are usually the only source of income for the poor families that own them and work under extreme conditions of heat, pain, exhaustion and illness. The Brooke Hospital for Animals was founded in Egypt in 1934 to improve the condition and well being of equine animals overseas by providing free veterinary treatment for the working horses, donkeys and mules in some of the most hard-pressed communities in the world and by advising and training their owners. It is the only organisation dedicated to providing veterinary treatment for working equines, alongside training owners, to bring about lasting change. It operates in Egypt, Jordan, India and Pakistan. Since working with the Afghan refugees in Pakistan, the Brooke has now extended its work into Afghanistan.

'Fayim's Incredible Journey' is published by Oxford University Press and costs £3.40. Please call 01536 741727 to place an order quoting ISBN number: 0-19-919627-3. It is part of the Tree Tops True Story Pack One and is aimed at seven to nine-year- olds.

More info:


Find out more, visit the links page or find answers on the message board.