Amal reaches London

As we follow Little Amal’s remarkable journey from the Turkey-Syria border to Manchester in the UK, she will shine an urgent light on the stories of the millions of young refugees who are displaced – and the many who are forced to risk arduous journeys for the chance at a better life.

Little Amal is the giant puppet at the heart of The Walk, travelling 8,000 km in support of refugees.

Three things strike me:

  1. We forget there’s a human being inside the body of Amal – a puppeteer – who is walking on stilts and viewing everything through her cane torso; what a life-changing experience that must be for those wonderful men and women (they work in shifts);
  2. The mobs of well-wishers and spectators are a hundred times more elated at greeting the doll-puppet than they are at greeting real life migrants and refugees, which is the poignant message that Amal delivers;
  3. Amal looks old for a nine-year-old which is no surprise given the anguish, fatigue, abuse and overall trauma that all refugees encounter as they flee war, famine, persecution, the Taliban, and all forms of violence.

Here’s a fresh batch of magnificent photographs of Amal in London, all taken by David Levene for The Guardian:

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