To mark World Refugee Day 2022, watch the interview that Nuha Abdo, our Refugee and Migrant Community Support Coordinator, made with Nadine Kaadan, children’s author and illustrator, who penned the story for Little Amal’s visit to Oxford in October 2021.

Kaadan’s story, ‘Amal Meets Alice’, brought the companionship of Amal and Alice to life. The two giant puppets traversed the city on a route which started in the Garden of Live Flowers and ended in Merton Fields. By reimagining Lewis Carroll’s titular character as Amal’s migratory companion, Kaadan’s story saw the two figures navigate Amal’s challenging journey together, evincing the power of empathy and community amongst new neighbours.

In this moving and enlightening discussion, Nuha and Nadine remind us that that is all we are to one another: neighbours, rather than opposing categories of citizen and refugee.

As someone who came to the UK from her home country of Syria ten years ago during the war, Nadine speaks with passion on issues such as how to engage with children on the realities of refugee experience; the multiplicity of home felt by migrants; combatting negative narratives surrounding refugees and asylum seekers; and how parents can help their children feel proud of their history and identity in new homes.

Nadine puts forward the powerful message that storytelling is not only an accessible and engaging artform which fosters empathy and joins communities, but also stresses that it is a means to work through hardship and trauma. Those who have the power to tell their stories in their own words reclaim their representation, which is often maligned in public discourse.

Nuha and Nadine’s discussion of storytelling as a therapeutic and empowering act chimes with the theme of Refugee Week 2022 – healing. Reminding us that Little Amal takes her culture, memories, and identity to each new ground she treads, Nadine expresses the enriching and healing power of sharing stories.

Watch the full video here.