Translated by Jesús Ronquillo / Circuito Frontera
Little Amal is a 3.5 meter tall puppet representing a 10 year old syrian refugee girl. This puppet has toured an impressive itinerary, visiting 120 cities in Europe and the United States since 2021.
Its message is clear: to bring hope, tolerance and solidarity to those who have been forced to flee their homes due to war, violence and persecution.
Amal has become a global symbol for human rights, especially as it relates to children and to say, “Don’t forget about us”.
Amal’s puppet was designed and built by Handspring Puppet Company, commissioned by The Walk Productions.
This iconic character has been received by a variety of public figures and world leaders, including Pope Francis, Amina Mohammed (deputy secretary general of the UN), as well as actors such as Jude Law and Benedict Cumberbatch, among others, and has traveled 18,000 kilometers in a call for peace and solidarity.
Visit to Ciudad Juarez
The puppet of the Syrian girl stepped on border lands last Thursday, October 26th, where hundreds of people from Juarez received with emotion in the vicinity of the Plaza de la Mexicanidad.
Later, Little Amal also visited the migrant community located in the border strip between Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, right in the area of Gate 36, where dozens of migrants have camped for weeks.
This little girl became the starting point of a new adventure in her journey through Mexico, as this figure represents children fleeing war, violence and persecution in search of a safe haven.
This visit was part of a project carried out by “Lights On Afterschool,” a joint effort led by BOOST Network, with the support of the United Way of El Paso County and the Paso del Norte Health Foundation, whose objective is to remember the importance of respecting human rights, celebrating cultural diversity and promoting solidarity at the community and international level.
In addition, the Sistema para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia del Municipio de Juárez (DIF) joined the event, along with the participation of 14 civil society organizations such as: Organización Popular Independiente A.C. (OPI), Centro de Investigaciones y Desarrollo de Proyectos Sociales, Educativos y de Salud (CIDESES A.C.), Centros de Asesoría y Promoción Juvenil (CASA), and Espacio Interactivo La Rodadora.
Also joining this initiative were Salud y Desarrollo Comunitario-FEMAP, Desarrollo Juvenil del Norte, Centro de Estudios Industria 4.0, Ciudadanos Comprometidos con la Paz (CCOMPAZ), Mech Robotix, and Integrando Corazones Desarrollando Comunidades (INCODEC), as well as Insights Science Discovery from El Paso, Texas.
Their visit is a reminder of the importance of empathy, mutual support and respect for the fundamental rights of all people, especially those who have had to flee extremely difficult situations in search of a better future.
Little Amal’s journey in México
Little Amal will continue its journey around the world and will land in México between November 6 and 26, 2023. During her stay in the country, she will visit seven Mexican cities, from Tijuana to Tapachula, according to information from the United Nations (UN).
His objective is to meet with various communities, public figures and artistic groups in a series of activities planned to welcome him.
His walk in Mexico will carry a message of hope and solidarity to thousands of people who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict, violence and persecution.
Little Amal is a reminder of the importance of respecting human rights and celebrating cultural diversity. It also seeks to raise awareness of the difficulties faced especially by children who are forced to leave their places of origin.
This initiative has been made possible thanks to the collaboration of different UN agencies, including the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the International Organization for Migration (IOM/UN Migration) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The artistic director of The Walk Productions, Amir Nizar Zuabi, highlighted that both Mexico and the United States have a history of migration that has shaped and affected both countries, so the arrival of “Little Amal” represents a message of hope for both the Mexican population and the migrants crossing the country, as well as for those who have crossed the border in both directions.
On its journey through Mexico, Little Amal will carry out a series of symbolic activities in each city visited, interacting with collectives and organizations that seek to raise awareness of the challenges faced by migrants and refugees, especially children and young people.
The Mexican crossing is an opportunity to remember that the rights of children and adolescents must be respected anywhere in the world and to unite society in the celebration of cultural diversity and international solidarity.