Gallery: Little Amal visits Rochdale
Date published: 03 November 2021
Photo: Craig Szlatoszlavek
Little Amal in Rochdale
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Little Amal – a nine-year-old refugee girl in the form of a 3.5 metre puppet – walked through Rochdale on Tuesday (2 November), in search of her mother.
Little Amal has travelled from the Syrian border across Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium in search of her mother, stopping at 65 places on the way, including Rochdale, where crowds gathered in their masses to greet her.
Her journey represents those taken by millions of people who have been displaced by war or persecution, especially children. At this time of multiple global crises her urgent message to the world is, ‘don't forget about us’.
‘The Walk’ is a public art project produced for Good Chance in association with Handspring Puppet Company, world famous creators of the horse puppets in War Horse.
Little Amal was met by excited school children at The Pioneers Museum on Toad Lane and presented with ‘You are home here’ welcome banners before making her way towards the crowds on Yorkshire Street where she was also greeted by community groups who provide help and support to local asylum seekers and refugees at the ‘Better Together’ building - home of ‘Caring and Sharing.’ There she was presented with a handmade quilt, before being greeted by Littleborough folk group Oakenhoof who led her and the crowds towards The Esplanade and into Rochdale Memorial Gardens.
In the gardens she was welcomed by the mayor councillor Aasim Rashid, who presented her with a copy of the heartfelt poem ‘Why Rochdale?’ written by Middleton resident Ann Robinson. Little Amal then spent over half an hour in the gardens meeting visitors, along with famous Rochdale singer Lisa Stansfield, pupils from nearby primary and secondary schools, students from Rochdale Sixth Form College and Hopwood Hall College. There was music performed by Wardle Academy Junior Brass Band and a group from Petrus joined Skylight Circus Arts entertaining Little Amal with circus skills. The visit concluded with a choir from Little Heaton C of E Primary School singing a traditional lullaby as Little Amal waved goodbye and moved to the next step of her journey, a community event at Kingsway Park High School.
Little Amal visits Rochdale
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