Eastern Eye (UK)
Little Amal to lead celebration of faith
RESIDENTS PROUD THAT CAMDEN IS A ‘BOROUGH OF SANCTUARY’
A GIANT puppet of a Syrian refugee will join residents of Camden in north London for a celebration of welcome, faith and friendship, writes Julia Gregory.
Little Amal, the 3.5m (12 foot) puppet of a 10-year-old girl, will lead an interfaith celebration at Granary Square on Sunday (2) as Camden becomes a “borough of Sanctuary” for refugees. This sees Camden pledge to ensure it is a place for everyone, recognising “that the UK is enriched by new arrivals” and does not tolerate hate crime, discrimination or harassment.
The iftar gathering will be close to St Pancras station where refugees from the war in Ukraine are welcomed by council staff as they arrive by train.
Since July 2021 the puppet has travelled 9,000 km in 13 countries, including Ukraine and been greeted by more than a million people.
She visited London in 2021 on her journey from Syria to Manchester and again in 2022.
People can make their own puppets or models to greet Little Amal and there is also an opportunity to make birds fly alongside the puppet.
The event has been arranged by Somers Town Community Centre, together with the British Library, Somers Town playwriting project Scene & Heard, UAL: Central Saint Martins and Women’s Interfaith Network.
The iftar has been organised by the Ramadan Tent Project and Dishoom with music from Muslim arts collective WAW Creative Arts. All the events are free and organisers hope they will bring communities together.
Councillor Sabrina Francis, Camden’s cabinet member for young people and culture said: “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 rebuild their lives.
“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.’”
Camden has recently provided homes for refugees from Afghanistan, Syria and Ukraine.
Francis encouraged people to get involved in the activities on the day. Little Amal was also scheduled to visit the City of London on Wednesday (29).
Her itinerary will take her to the Tower of London, Paternoster Square, Leadenhall Market and Bloomberg Arcade as she helps raise money for displaced children worldwide.