Giant puppet 'Little Amal' completes 8000km migrant journey in Manchester
Little Amal, the three-metre tall figure representing an unaccompanied minor and migrant, took the last steps of her walk with Manchester's International Festival, which hosted her finale at Castlefield Bowl.
This comes four months after the puppet left Gazientep near the Turkish-Syrian border last July, on a mission to complete a journey taken by over 17,000 people wishing to seek refuge in Europe this year alone.
"Thousands welcomed Little Amal to Manchester last night, where she found her new home," Little Amal's team said in a tweet.
🎉 #LittleAmal got a warm welcome home as she arrived here at the end of her 8000km journey through 65 cities, towns and villages.@MIFestival hosted @walkwithamal with a Mancunian celebration of song, dance, music and puppetry from @GoodChanceCal— Manchester City Council (@ManCityCouncil) November 4, 2021
Welcome home #LittleAmal 🧡 pic.twitter.com/BvG6FNaPnO
"Little Amal, you are safe now in Manchester... the place where people understand why you left your country and why we should give you protection... [as Manchester has] been the refuge for thousands from different countries who had to flee for their safety," Dr Haytham Alhamwi, the manager of refugee-focused charity Rethink Rebuild, said at the finale.
The giant doll, operated by a team of eight puppeteers, has an entourage of around 30 people who have navigated Covid travel restrictions in order to successfully complete the journey.
Little Amal will now head to Glasgow to attend COP26, the United Nations' 2021 Climate Change Conference, where she will open the Gender Day event 'Advancing Gender Equality in Climate Action’ on Tuesday to emphasises that "migrant justice = climate justice".