A giant doll raising awareness about the millions of young children caught up in the horrors of war and conflict will walk on Australian soil for the first time after travelling through 15 countries to promote peace.
Towering at over 3.5 metres tall, Little Amal depicts a 10-year-old Syrian refugee girl with long hair.
Little Amal is joining The Walk, an international work added to the line-up of events on Tuesday set for the 2024 Adelaide Festival from March 15 to 17.
It takes the work of four puppeteers to bring her to life with one to carry each arm, one supporting her back and one commandeering from the inside on walking stilts.
The puppeteer hidden inside the doll is also responsible for Little Amal's facial movements orchestrating a series of strings intricately that animate the face, head and eyes.
The life-like doll was crafted by Handspring Puppet Company, a South African production group, using cane and carbon fibre to endure the complexity and variety of weather conditions and terrains across borders.
Her journey began in 2021 when she walked 9000km from the Syrian-Turkish border through Europe and to the United Kingdom.
Palestinian theatre director Amir Nizar Zuabi, who worked with a team of producers to bring the complex sculpture to life, says the puppet is aimed at humanising the refugee story to be one of community potential and hospitality.
"There is something in the act of welcoming a stranger - it redefines not only them but also us," Mr Zuabi said.
"As a community breathes together and walks alongside Amal on the streets, it becomes an expression of unity and shared humanity."
South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas extended his welcome on Tuesday to the "world star" on her anticipated arrival.
"As the grandson of Lithuanian and Hungarian refugees, I understand the profound impact when the Australian nation opens its collective heart to the plight of refugees and migrants," Mr Malinauskas said.
Little Amal has visited about 90 cities across the world and has been greeted by the likes of dignitaries such as Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Westminster along the way.
Australian Associated Press