A few years ago, an international group of theater people gave birth to the idea of Amal, a 12-foot-tall puppet of a Syrian child that would travel along one of the routes across Turkey and Europe that refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and may other countries follow as they flee war, violence, and persecution. They imagined Amal as one of tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors and her journey as, simply, a search for her mother. In 70 towns and cities along her 5,000-mile route, they invited artists and arts organizations to welcome her. "A refugee child will arrive. She'll be tired, hungry, and frightened. How will you welcome her? With a dance? With a meal typical of your region? With an orchestral concert?" They also invited "power figures" to welcome her. On that initial voyage in 2021, Amal travelled Turkey, Syria, to the United Kingdom. Along the way, she has become a global symbol of human rights and she's met something like a million people on the street. After the initial tour, Amal has accepted invitations to visit other places, including Ukraine, Canada and the U.S. Amal has been greeted by presidents and a pope, feted by celebrated musicians, and welcomed by migrants like those whose plight she seeks to illuminate. In additional raising awareness of the challenges faced by refugees, she has also raised almost $1 million which will be distributed to organizations that support refugees.

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