Don’t Forget Us: Giant refugee doll sheds light on the plight of homeless children

A giant refugee girl doll, known as “Little Hope,” wandered around New York City’s Times Square on Friday, raising awareness of the plight of homeless children seeking safety across borders.
The 12-foot-tall doll, whose name means “hope” in Arabic, began its journey on the Syrian-Turkish border in July 2021, met Ukrainian refugees in Europe, and will visit the city’s five neighborhoods in the next 1-2/2 weeks.

Amal represents a 10-year-old girl in search of her mother who set out in search of food and never returned, said Peter Avery, theater director for the New York City Department of Education and producer of Little Amal Walks New York.

Little Amal captured the hearts of people around the world as she spread her message of solidarity for the displaced. source: GT / Getty Images

“After the Middle East and Europe, the producers of Little Amal chose New York because they said America and Europe were precisely where the ‘gathered audiences,’ Emma Lazarus’ poem would be welcomed,” Avery said, referring to the words engraved on the pedestal. From the Statue of Liberty.

Broadway performers and about 200 students from New York City sang Amal to calm her in the bustling Times Square.

“Seeing little… a Syrian refugee girl being welcomed as a rock star all over the world is very moving,” said Eric Sirakian, who stars in Broadway’s The Kite Runner.
Designed by South African-based Handspring Puppet Company, Amal comes to life with the help of a doll’s engine on stilts within her bamboo frame, controlling the strings that create the doll’s facial expressions. Each arm is powered by a puppet motor outside.

Avery’s little message to the world is, ‘Don’t forget us,’ Mr. Avery said.

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