Vatican City, Sep 10 (EFE).- The Little Amal puppet, a 3.5 meter-high representation of a 9-year-old refugee child, arrived on Friday in Rome and the Vatican.
The marionette set out from the Turkish border with Syria in a quest to find a better life, planning to cover 8,000 kilometres in four months, as she carries the hope of millions of migrants with her.
Amal was received by dozens of children and passersby in awe at Saint Peter’s Square in Vatican City, where the puppet was welcomed by a representative of the Catholic Church.
Amal is the torchbearer of The Walk, a project by Good Chance Theatre and the Handspring Puppet Company, carrying a universal message for the world: “Don’t forget about us.”
The Angels Unawares sculpture, inaugurated in the square in 2019 by Pope Francis to honour all migrants and refugees, oversaw the reception of Little Amal, who still has a long journey ahead of her.
“Amal is big and beautiful, and it is a pleasure to meet her. But straight away, she reminds us how important it is in our lives to meet the vulnerable migrants, precarious workers and those in need,” said Michael Cznery, cardinal acting as church representative at the welcoming event.
Mirroring the path of thousands of refugees, Amal’s journey started in July in Gaziantep, a Turkish city near the Syrian border, and will take her to more than 70 cities and villages across eight countries, before she finally reaches Manchester in the United Kingdom.
She travels alone and is desperately searching for her mother, with whom she will reunite at the end of the trail, in their new home.
Like many migrants, this refugee child is also the victim of hate and xenophobia, having been met with stone pelting and abuse, for instance, last Sunday as she passed through Larissa, in Greece, forcing police to intervene. EFE