Oxford, England welcomed Little Amal, a giant puppet of a refugee this week.

Little Amal is a puppet of a young Syrian refugee child that walked across Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and the U.K. Ending her journey in the northwest of England, the show focused attention on the urgent needs of young refugees around the world.

Amal’s story began with the Good Chance Theatre’s award-winning play, The Jungle. This play follows the stories that the theatre’s founders, Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson, encountered during the creation of their first Theatre of Hope in the 2015 Calais refugee camp — Little Amal represented the hundreds of children and teenagers in the camp who were left without their parents. The creators hope to shine a bright light on the stories of those who are displaced and forced to take dangerous measures at a chance for a better life.

Little Amal, who is not so little standing at 11.5 feet, reached English waters on October 19, 2021. The puppet took a pit stop from its final destination in Manchester to meet the Story Museum’s very own Alice in Wonderland figure in Oxford. Celebrating the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, the two puppets joined together for a non-verbal tale of friendship.

The story begins in the “Garden of Live Flowers” at the Botanic Gardens. Little Amal arrives with a bag of memories of her homeland, Syria, which she has fled. After an argument with the Red Queen leaves Amal’s memories scattered all over Oxford, Alice takes her on a tour of her hometown to find them, including places like the Weston Library and the Christ Church Meadow. This story sheds light on the importance of helping refugees, especially those who are unaccompanied minors, and providing kindness — this story communicates the power of art and the weight it can hold on its viewers.

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