She has travelled more than 8,000km in support of refugees and now the giant walking puppet Little Amal has visited Cheltenham too, as part of her ‘New Steps, New Friends’ walk through England.
One of only ten stops across the country, Little Amal walked through the streets of Cheltenham on Thursday 23 June 2022, where the 3.5m tall living artwork of the young Syrian refugee child danced and celebrated surrounded by crowds of thousands.
Little Amal started her journey outside the Everyman Theatre where she was met by the cast of SIX: The Musical and presented with a floral crown.
With a band of musicians leading the way, Amal then walked up Cheltenham High Street to the Promenade, where she stopped to see the Hare and the Minotaur statue and meet the Mayor. Followed by a traditional song from a Ukrainian singer as Amal laid her crown of flowers at the War Memorial.
Taking place during World Refugee Week 2022, Little Amal also made visits to Manchester, Bradford, Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol, Stonehenge, London, Canterbury and Folkestone – one year on from leaving Syria and just five weeks after her visit to the city of Lviv in Ukraine.
Described by organisers as an international symbol of human rights, Little Amal has come to represent millions of refugee children and will be ‘sharing her message of resilience and hope with anyone who has been forced to leave their homes.’
Artistic director Amir Nizar Zuab said: ‘As the invasion of Ukraine began the whole world, governments and citizens, proved that when we’re willing to respond to the urgent needs of refugees we can accomplish astonishing feats of compassion and generosity.
‘Amal’s Walk through England in June will remind us that, if we choose, we can welcome and care for all refugees, regardless of their skin colour, their religion or their background.’