Queens, New York – On September 14, Little Amal – a 12-foot-tall puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee girl – took her first steps in the U.S. at JFK Terminal 4, accompanied by a performance facilitated in partnership with St. Ann’s Warehouse and the Walk Productions.
As the international gateway to New York, JFK Terminal 4 was determined to be the best site for Little Amal’s first steps in the United States. Since July 2021, Little Amal – designed by Handspring Puppet Company – has made a 5,000-mile journey from the Turkey/Syrian border across Europe. Amal walks for all of the millions of refugees and disempowered people looking for safety in the world, over half of whom are children. On her journey, Amal has been welcomed by world-renowned artists, His Holiness Pope Francis, and more than a million people who felt inspired by the message that Amal was sending to the public.
Upon arriving at JFK T4, Little Amal was serenaded by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and its Children’s Chorus under the direction of Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. She took her first walk outside of the terminal to honor the refugees and immigrants who have made an impact on the life of New York. Next, she embarked on a 17-day journey in all five boroughs in search of her uncle Samir.
“As the largest international terminal at JFK, we are so pleased to host Little Amal’s entry to the United States here at T4 after her long journey across Europe,” said Roel Huinink, President and CEO of JFKIAT. “This one-of-a-kind production makes an important statement about the plight of refugees around the world and provides a message of hope, particularly for children who have been separated from their families. We are proud to partner with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, St. Ann’s Warehouse, and all of the parties involved in this initiative to mark this occasion and share the message that T4 welcomes everyone, especially those like Little Amal.”
“John F. Kennedy International Airport is honored and pleased to welcome Little Amal to Terminal 4,” said Terresa Rizzuto, General Manager of John F. Kennedy International Airport. “This is such a unique opportunity for the airport community to be a part of as Little Amal embarks on her journey around New York City, and we’re delighted to share this momentous occasion with our partners from JFKIAT, and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.”
Little Amal Walks NYC is a production of St. Ann’s Warehouse and the Walk Productions. She is now a globally recognized symbol of human rights for all marginalized people. On her journey through NYC she will be visiting famous landmarks such as Times Square, Central Park, Grand Central Terminal, the New York Public Library, Brooklyn Bridge, City Hall, the African Burial Ground, The Bronx High Bridge, Green-Wood Cemetery, and Coney Island.