'Little Amal' Refugee Puppet Serenaded by Met Opera Orchestra at JFK Airport

The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra serenaded Little Amal, an oversize puppet depicting a 10-year-old Syrian refugee, as she arrived at Kennedy Airport in Queens, New York, on Tuesday, September 14, as part of an ongoing project called The Walk.

According to St Ann’s Warehouse, a performing arts institution in Brooklyn, Little Amal – whose name means ‘hope’ in Arabic – will be welcomed by artists, cultural organizations, community groups, and educational institutions across New York City’s five boroughs during a 17-day visit.

According to Amir Nizar Zuabi, artistic director of the project, “The purpose of The Walk is to highlight the potential of the refugee, not just their dire circumstances. Little Amal is 3.5 meters tall because we want the world to grow big enough to greet her.”

New York Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement, “Everything Little Amal stands for New York City stands for, and we are proud to welcome her to the international capital of immigrants."

Local news reported that Little Amal recently traveled 5,000 miles across 12 European countries, including Ukraine.

Footage posted to the Metropolitan Opera YouTube page shows Little Amal arriving at the airport as members of the Met Orchestra and the Met Children’s Chorus perform at the terminal. Credit: Neville Braithwaite/Met Opera via Storyful

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