Giant puppet ‘Little Amal’ to tour England for Refugee Week: Dates, cities, events

·4-min read
Little Amal will tour the UK for World Refugee Week (AFP via Getty Images)
Little Amal will tour the UK for World Refugee Week (AFP via Getty Images)

June 20 is World Refugee Day, designated by the United Nations to honour refugees around the world.

It marks the start of World Refugee Week, which is observed in the UK through events that celebrate refugees and asylum seekers.

As part of this year’s observance, a giant puppet named Little Amal will tour England to celebrate the country’s diverse communities and to share her message of “resilience and hope.”

Find out below if Amal is visiting a city near you and how you can get involved.

Who is Little Amal?

Little Amal is a 3.5 metre puppet of a Syrian refugee child. She has walked across Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, the UK, the Netherlands, Poland, and Ukraine.

This week, she will walk across England as part of a World Refugee Week campaign.

When will Little Amal walk around England?

Little Amal began her tour of England on June 19, and will walk until June 27.

Where will Little Amal visit?

Little Amal will visit 10 cities and towns across England. She began her tour in Manchester and will visit Bradford, Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham, Cheltenham, Bristol, Stonehenge, London, Canterbury, and Folkestone.

Bradford

The “New words on my lips” storytelling event will take place at Centenary Square in Bradford on June 20 at 1pm until 2pm. The event is free to attend and tickets aren’t required.

Amalis “excited to show the children in Bradford what she has learned,” after being “taught English in school for many months.”

Leeds

The “Late to bed and early to rise” event will see Little Amal walk from Briggate to Millennium Square, from 6pm until 7pm on June 20. The event is free to attend and tickets aren’t required.

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Liverpool

Amal will visit Liverpool for the “Lost in the Docks” event where she will “begin to learn about her new country’s history of migration, often joyful and often complicated.”

The symbol for refugees will “explore this place of arrival and departure for hundreds of years,” and “will reflect on her own journey to the UK.”

She will walk from Hartley Quay to Pier Head/George Parade, from 12pm until 2pm on June 21. The event is free to attend and tickets aren’t required.

Birmingham

One June 23, Little Amal will head to Birmingham for the “Where is my family photo?” event, at 11.30am. The event is free to attend and tickets aren’t required.

She will walk from Victoria Square to Centenary Square “discovering families, friends and community groups from across Birmingham, all posing for their own unique ‘family’ portrait.”

The “families” will pose within a moveable photo frame, and will welcome Amal into their group photo.

Cheltenham

Cheltenham will host Amal later on June 23, as she walks through the town, beginning at 5pm at Cheltenham Everyman Theatre, before making her way to Imperial Square. The event is free to attend and tickets aren’t required.

Amal will be given a “royal welcome” from the cast of Six the musical, before local children will welcome her with poems. She will lay flowers of remembrance before dancing with children from many different nationalities.

Bristol

Amal will visit Bristols’ historic Old City and Harbour on June 24. At 4pm, she will begin her “Old City, new voices” journey from Bristol Old Vic Kings Street, and will head to Bristol Ferry.

Along the way she will watch performances from local artists and will meet local communities. The event is free to attend and tickets aren’t required.

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Stonehenge

On June 25, Little Amal will visit Stonehenge from 9.30am until 10am.

To see Amal at the ancient stones, you will need a ticket to enter Stonehenge at 9.30am, and must arrive at the Visitors Centre by 9.15am.

London

Amal will visit London’s Southbank Centre on June 25, at 4pm. Here, she will attend a DJ Dance Party for children and families, until 5pm.

This “Will you come and dance with me?” event is free to attend and tickets aren’t required.

Canterbury

On June 27, Little Amal will visit the University of Kent Campus in Canterbury. Here, she will join young people learning about migration and will dance a Dabke–a folk dance popular in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan.

This “Together again” event is exclusively for schools across Kent as part of the University of Kent 2022 Youth Summit.

Folkestone

Finally, Amal will visit the Sunny Sands Beach in Folkestone “moments away from where she first arrived in the UK,” on June 27, at 6pm.

She will look out to see and think about “refugee children across the world like her, young people will launch handmade boats out to sea, inscribed with messages of hope and friendship.”

This “An end and a beginning” event is free to etre and tickets aren’t required, but it has a maximum capacity so guests will be admitted on a first come first served basis.

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