“Little Amal,” the 12-foot-tall puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee girl, started her trip to New York City with a stop in Downtown Jamaica last Wednesday.
Operated by the Handspring Puppet Company, Amal posed for photos along the Parsons-Archer corridor before making her way down to King Manor. She also visited Astoria Park later that night.
According to her website, “Amal” means “hope” in Arabic. She speaks for children fleeing war, violence and persecution with her simple message: “Don’t forget about us.”
Handspring launched “The Amal Fund” to raise money for children in need. At time of print, the fund had raised more than $68,000, with a stated goal of $85,000.
The puppet has traveled more than 9,000 km across 12 countries since July 2021. The Queens leg of her trip to the city concluded on Wednesday with stops in Corona and Jackson Heights, but she will continue to roam around Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx until Oct. 2.
— Sean Okula