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Hyderabad: A 3.5-metre-high (11ft tall) puppet named “Little Amal” is on an 8,000 km journey representing Syrian refugee children. The huge puppet is set on the journey to spread awareness of the plight of the refugees and send across a message for peace and aid to the displaced.
Amal, which means hope in Arabic, started from the Syria-Turkey border in July and reached Greece on August 9. Now, it has continued the voyage to Italy and other European countries including Britain in three months.
Knitting a story behind the puppet’s journey, named “The Walk”, it is said that little Amal is setting out to look for her mother.
The nine-year-old is a Syrian refugee from Aleppo, who will walk from the Syrian-Turkey border to the UK, in search of her displaced family. Along the way, each village, town and city she visits, will welcome her with a slew of events ranging from performances to art installations.
Throughout her journey, Amal encompasses some real tales of several young refugees and countless children who got displaced from their homes and were torn away from their families.
The making of the puppet
The mighty puppet was carefully crafted by the Handspring Puppet Company in Cape Town, South Africa.
“The Walk” is a travelling festival of art and hope by UK-based Good Chance Theatre. Presented by its producers – Stephen Daldry, David Lan and Tracey Seaward, the production comes to life through the huge puppet crafted by Handspring Puppet Company.
Talking about her making, the Good Chance team shared: “She is made from robust, lightweight material like moulded cane and carbon fibre, to achieve a puppet that can be operated for long periods of time in varying conditions, to withstand rain and heat.”
Moreover, there are three puppet ‘Amal’s, created as a spare. She will also have a team of puppeteers and technicians who will look after her as she walks.
The puppet can also be dismantled into smaller sections for easy transportation through boat or any other means of transport in the absence of roads.
Watch the making of Amal here:
Meanwhile, Amal will turn ten on October 24. On her birthday, celebrations in London are being planned by the production owners. The day will begin with a dawn chorus performance at the Royal Opera House followed by a party at the Victoria and Albert Museum, with kids invited from all across London. In the finale, Amal will successfully reunite with her mother in Manchester.
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