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‘Little Amal’, a 3.5m-tall animated puppet of a Syrian refugee girl, visits PACE and the Council of Europe

Little Amal, a 3.5m-tall animated puppet of a nine-year-old Syrian refugee girl who is walking across Europe to raise awareness of the situation of child refugees, is to visit PACE and the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on 30th September 2021.

Amal’s visit is one of the stops on “The Walk”, an epic 8,000km journey taking her from the Syrian border to the United Kingdom in search of her mother, visiting towns and cities along the way in an event described by organisers as “a travelling festival of art and hope in support of refugees”. She has so far walked through Turkey, Greece and Italy, where she met Pope Francis in the Vatican.

Little Amal will visit the Council of Europe during the PACE plenary session, where she will be greeted by PACE President Rik Daems and Council of Europe Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić, among other top officials, as well as parliamentarians from across Europe and local schoolchildren.

She will walk up the main driveway to the Council of Europe building, before exchanging gifts and being the focus of other #ActsOfWelcome, aimed at drawing attention to the experience of refugee children everywhere, and highlighting the Council of Europe’s work to protect the rights of child refugees and migrants.

The Little Amal puppet and “The Walk” are a joint project by South Africa’s acclaimed Handspring Puppet Company and Good Chance Theatre, which has been working with refugees since 2015.

More on the PACE plenary session

Practical information for media

The event takes place from around 12.45pm to 1.30pm on the forecourt of the Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg on Thursday 30th September. Due to Covid restrictions, it is not open to the public.

Media wishing to attend should complete this Accreditation Form, and contact the Communication Directorate via e-mail (accreditation.press@coe.int) to find out about sanitary and other special session arrangements. In view of the limited number of places available on the forecourt, please confirm your presence at this event by 28 September at the latest. 

Camera crews will be able to film Little Amal as she walks up to the Council of Europe building to meet VIPs, parliamentarians and schoolchildren. Interviews can be arranged with the officials greeting her, as well as Amal and her puppeteers.

Video footage is available on demand, as well as photos of the visit on the Council of Europe media gallery and Flickr, with further coverage on the Assembly’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Contacts:

Angus Macdonald (PACE Communication Division), angus.macdonald[at]coe.int, +33 6 99 02 05 24.

Estelle Steiner (Council of Europe Directorate of Communication), estelle.steiner[at]coe.int, +33 6 08 46 01 57.