There’s nothing little about Little Amalexcept her age: she’s a 10-year-old Syrian refugee, but she’s actually a 12-foot tall puppet.
She has become a symbol of human rights, and is currently traveling 6,000 miles across the United States. She will arrive in Chicago on Sept. 28 for a three-day visit, according to officials.
Her first stop : Chicago Shakespeare Theater. The event is called “The Walk with Little Amal,” and the public is welcomed for the occasion.
“We are so thrilled,” says Delaney Piggins, a Little Amal producer at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. “I think this opportunity is a chance for audiences to learn ways in which they can welcome newcomers into our city and to celebrate the joy that that can be with audiences across Chicago.”
Chicago Shakespeare Theater is partnering with several organizations that will participate in the festivities, including the Syrian Community Network and their youth performers.
“Some of our staff came as refugees to the united states from Syria. They had to flee their home countries, and so it’s just really meaningful to have a story that connects so closely to our community,” says Lauren West, communications director at Syrian Community Network.
Little Amal spreads a message of hope, especially for children who have been separated from their families. The Walk Productions, the non-profit organization sponsoring her journey, hopes these public events spark questions.
“Do we think of them as a burden, as something we need to fear from? Do we think of them as poor people we need to feel pity for, or do we think of them as a huge potential?,” asks Amir Nizar Zuabi, artistic director of The Walk Productions.
Zuabi is referring to the current influx of migrants in Chicago and other US cities.
“We really should be welcoming and understanding of their plight and I see her being a lens for that,” West said.
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