Little Amal Entertains and Informs on Refugee Children’s Strife

Little Amal

With half of the world’s 43.3 million (2022 UNHCR) refugees being children under the age of 18, it is fitting that a 12-foot-tall partially animatronic puppet portraying a 10-year-old Syrian refugee named “Little Amal” has been on a worldwide tour since 2021 calling attention to the children’s plight by conveying the message “Don’t forget about us.”

The walks, as the tours are called, have been viewed by millions both in person and online making it one of the most successful campaigns yet in bringing attention to the refugees’ plight in attempting to raise five million dollars in badly needed funds to assist and “provide academic training and education as well as supplying people with food, shelter and medical services” for those displaced. While being displaced many of the school aged children in the refugee crisis have also lost the important ability to attend school.

On September 17, her 35-city cross-country tour “Amal Walks Across America” arrived in Washington, DC making two stops in the city and spreading her message much to the delight of the large crowds who greeted her in the nation’s Capital. While walking at Black Lives Matter Plaza, accompanied by the Eastern High School marching band, Amal made a stop to hear from two speakers both one-time refugees like herself. She was greeted by Palestinian-American poet Sara Abou Rashed who emigrated from Syria. Rashed read an impassioned poem about her personal experience as a refugee to the large crowd that had gathered.

Afterward, Palestinian-American Aseel Elborno told of her own personal saga when at age seven in 1990 her family was forced to leave Kuwait. Initially, the family was told only her two-year-old brother could emigrate to the U.S. as he was an American citizen. Her father refused, instead demanding that the entire family be allowed to emigrate together so as not to be separated. The American authorities acquiesced in their demand allowing them all to emigrate. When she finished, Amal reached down and shook her hand.

The giant Amal accompanied by an ever-growing, adoring crowd next walked to the nearby McPherson Square where the walk concluded after a musical rendition performed by the children’s music group The Adams Beat Chorus of “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King.

The Amal project was created by the Handspring Puppet Company of South Africa who designed the giant sculpture noting their success in the project by saying that she has “…Become an international symbol of compassion and of human rights. The story of refugees is so important for the whole world. Because it’s an outdoor event, The Walk has the potential of bringing people together again.”

Since its inception, the project has traveled over 6,000 miles visiting 15 countries and, during its present tour around the United States, will travel an additional 6,000 miles to 35 cites from coast to coast in what has been described by organizers  as “one of the largest free public festivals ever created.” “Amal Walks Across America” will conclude in San Diego, California on November 5th.

For a list of cities included in the tour see:

Anyone wishing to donate to this more than worthy cause can do so by visiting the web site,

Photo by Phil Pasquini

(This article has appeared in Nuzeink)

Phil Pasquini is a freelance journalist and photographer. His reports and photographs appear in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Pakistan Link and He is the author of Domes, Arches and Minarets: A History of Islamic-Inspired Buildings in America.

© 2023 nuzeink all rights reserved worldwide


Support Countercurrents

Countercurrents is answerable only to our readers. Support honest journalism because we have no PLANET B.
Become a Patron at Patreon

Join Our Newsletter


Join our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Get CounterCurrents updates on our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Related Posts

Join Our Newsletter

Annual Subscription

Join Countercurrents Annual Fund Raising Campaign and help us

Latest News