David Lan, one of the producers of “The Walk,” said in a telephone interview from Greece that he had not anticipated opposition to the project, but wasn’t surprised given how some people in Europe perceive refugees. “It’s a very live issue with Afghanistan,” he added.
The plan had been for Amal, whose name means “hope” in Arabic, to walk near the monasteries and have a picnic with local children, Mr. Lan said, adding that his team had secured approval from regional authorities for the event. But they now planned to go elsewhere. “If we’re not welcome, we don’t go.”
“The Walk” evolved out of the “The Jungle,” an acclaimed play about refugees that had runs on London’s West End and at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn.
The project involves Amal and her puppeteers traveling from Gazientep, Turkey, to Manchester, England, with numerous detours along the way. Gaziantep was chosen as it is home to tens of thousands of Syrians, and Manchester because of its high concentration of asylum seekers.
Along the way, Amal joins events with local artists, children and refugee groups.
In Gazientep, excited children held up lanterns to guide Amal through the city. And on the Greek island of Chios, choirs sang to welcome her as an orchestra played.
“The meaning’s obvious,” Mr. Lan said, referring to the aim of the project. “It’s ‘Don’t forget about us.’”
Niki Kitsantonis reported from Athens, and Alex Marshall from London.