Little Amal arrived Tuesday evening in Atlanta to continue her journey across America called “The Walk” and the Decatur community showed their love and affection in waves.
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) public art program Artbound welcomed “Little Amal” in partnership with Flux Projects, Center for Puppetry Arts, and Decatur Arts Alliance.
“Little Amal” is a 12-foot puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee child who has become an international symbol of human rights and delivers a message of hope for displaced people.
Between Sept. 7 until Nov. 26, Amal is journeying 11,000 miles across the United States and Mexico in one of the largest free public festivals ever created. 40 towns and cities from Boston to San Diego and six cities from Tijuana to Tapachula will create 100+ free public events to welcome her.
“We are thrilled to welcome Little Amal at our Decatur station,” said Art in Transit Director Katherine Dirga. “At Artbound, community is at the heart of what we do. Art has the power to transcend boundaries and connect people in profound ways. We are grateful for the opportunity to showcase the transformative power of art, reminding us all that together, we can create a more compassionate and connected world.”
Along with Little Amal’s arrival, she was also looking for stuffed animals to keep her company during her journey. The event felt like a full community coming together to celebrate what Amal stands for and means. From the crowds following Little Amal on a brief stroll around the MARTA Decatur station, to children laughing and shouting, “I love you Amal”, the event was a success.
Parents also brought their children to the immersive experience to greet Little Amal and bring their own favorite stuffed animals.
Stuffed animals have become steadfast companions to refugee children, offering emotional support, companionship, and a tangible reminder of happier times.
Decatur resident, Bernice Jackson brought her two children with her to enjoy Little Amal.
“I am a firm believer in Human Rights and I have followed Little Amal for quite some time. My two daughters, Kya and Nicole, love Amal. They were excited to come out today and see her in-person,” she said.
Another resident, Bethany Pyra said she has kept up with Amal’s journey so far and loves what she symbolizes.
“Amal is so much more than a doll, she’s a statement, a symbol, and in this current climate, a symbol for human rights and hope for people is needed. I’m truly happy she came to Atlanta,” Pyra said.
Participants were able to be part of an incredible journey that showcases the profound impact of art that unites communities and nurtures compassion in our collective human experience.