The story of Little Amal is the story of a refugee, a ten-year-old girl who has embarked on a journey across Europe and now the United States. Amal’s journey, which started in 2021, has already covered an impressive 9,000 kilometers. But what makes Little Amal’s walk so special is the story behind it and the message it carries.
Amir Nizar Zuabi, the man behind the Walk with Amal project, wanted to create something that celebrates the long and arduous journey that refugees make across Europe. The idea was to have a big, beautiful girl leading the way, a symbolic representation of the strength and resilience of refugees. Speaking about the project, Zuabi says, “We need to think of them as amazing human potential.”
Little Amal: A Symbol of Resilience and Strength
Little Amal is not just a symbol; she is a character, with a backstory and a personality. “We know that she loves life, but she’s also traumatized. She lost her family. She’s also alone and afraid, but she’s also forceful and capable. And she’s vulnerable, but resilient. And this mixture is what makes her very special,” explains Zuabi.
Challenging Perceptions of Refugees and Their Potential
Through this project, Zuabi hopes to challenge perceptions of refugees and show that they are people, complicated, but people, just like everybody else. He believes that the biggest mistake we make is not harnessing the potential of these people who are trying to create a new life. “We keep them in this legal limbo situation where they can’t really strike roots and become productive citizens of a new society,” says Zuabi.
The Walk with Amal: Celebrating the Journey of Refugees
The Walk with Amal project is not just about Little Amal’s journey. It’s about the people she meets along the way and the communities that welcome her. “Refugees in all the cities that we walk through felt very proud that their story is told and that their story is joyous. It’s not a walk of misery. It is a walk of dignity. It’s a walk of celebration,” says Zuabi.
Inspiring Communities to Welcome and Embrace Refugees
The Walk with Amal project is an opportunity for communities to come together and show that they are better, more welcoming, and that they want to welcome. It’s a reminder that refugees are people with potential, and that we need to think of them as such.
If you want to read more about this topic, check out this article about how a Greek couple feeds hundreds of refugees and homeless. And ask yourself, in which city would you like to welcome Amal?
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