Little Amal comes to Camden for a festival of hope and art
Little Amal, a 3.5m puppet of a refugee Syrian child who is recognised globally as a symbol of human rights, is coming to Camden for a festival of hope and art.
In collaboration with JW3, The Walk Productions and the Ramadan Tent, residents from across the borough are invited to meet Little Amal and join an interfaith celebration on Sunday 2 April 2023 as Easter, Passover and Ramadan coincide.
Little Amal, a global symbol of hope for displaced people everywhere, especially children who have been separated from their families, will be visiting JW3, Lymington Road Estate, Alexandra and Ainsworth Estate, Somers Town, the British Library and Granary Square in King’s Cross.
The festival is taking place as Camden becomes a ‘Borough of Sanctuary’, this recognises the borough as a place where everyone is welcome and can access local services and spaces. It also recognises and embraces the contribution refugees make to society and how they enrich Camden and the UK.
Work is also underway to use Camden’s Community Investment Programme (CIP), one of the largest and leading housebuilding projects in the UK, to house Afghan refugees who have been living in the borough in Home Office run bridging hotels since August 2021.
Through new funding provided by the government and the Greater London Authority (GLA), the Council will be using homes which had been built through CIP for private sale to be kept as council owned homes to provide safe-haven housing for refugees.
We are so excited that Little Amal is visiting Camden. As a borough, we have a long and proud history of providing sanctuary and support for those fleeing violence and persecution to help re-build their lives, and we’re currently home to more than 1,000 refugees, asylum seekers and displaced people.
Our diverse and vibrant communities make Camden the special place that it is and I’m proud that we are now recognised as a ‘borough of sanctuary’ to send a message that our borough is open to all. I hope residents and visitors will join us in welcoming Little Amal and show our support for refugees in the borough as we celebrate our inter-faith communities and multiculturalism.
In her short life, Amal has found tremendous welcome in so many homes in many countries, particularly in the hearts and imaginations of tens of thousands of Londoners, young and old.
As Easter, Passover and Ramadan coincide, we hope Amal will reunite with many of her old friends and make new ones as she reminds us that, if we choose, we can welcome and care for all refugees, regardless of their skin colour, their religion or their background.
Since her now celebrated 8,000km journey from the border of Syria and Turkey, Little Amal has become an international symbol of human rights. She has come to represent the millions of refugee children including those who have been separated from their families. Her urgent message to the world is “Don’t forget about us.”
Amal’s events on Sunday 2 April include:
- At JW3 on Finchley Road and Lymington Road Estate, a range of Jewish communities will introduce Amal to the story of Passover and the flight from Egypt.
- At Rowley Way in the Alexandra and Ainsworth Estate, Amal will be serenaded by folk musicians, steel pan bands and gospel choirs, reflecting some of the many Christian communities that have made London their home.
- In King’s Cross, she will lead a parade of Ramadan-inspired lanterns through Somers Town into Granary Square where she will be welcomed to an Open Iftar with Ramadan Tent Project and Dishoom and with music from the Muslim arts collective WAW Creative Arts. Booking is required on-line for the free Open Iftar and tickets will be available to book from 24 March.
To find out more information on the different events and how you can get involved - at home, within the community as well as on the day, visit walkwithamal.org/events.