Little Amal, the 12-foot puppet depicting a 10-year-old Syrian refugee, continued her journey around the world in New York this month, hoping to bring awareness to the millions of people forced to flee their countries in search of safety.
New York was the puppet’s first stop in the United States since starting her journey in July 2021 from the Turkey–Syrian border. Organizers said she was expected to travel to all five New York City boroughs in search of her uncle Samir in a 17-day journey that began Sept. 14.
Little Amal represents and brings attention to the 27.1 million refugees, about half of whom are children, who wander the Earth in search of safety. The largest proportion of those refugees, 6.8 million, come from the Syrian Arab Republic, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The stop in New York comes as local officials struggle to house more than 2,200 immigrants and asylum-seekers who were bussed to the city by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
Little Amal has greeted hundreds of New Yorkers who have come out to see her, taking selfies and touching her gigantic hands. Crowds followed the puppet and her trailing brown hair down New York streets. At times they were joined by live bands whose beat she danced to.