The Manchester-based Human Rights organisation working with displaced people
January 19th 2012
YOUNG RAPAR REFUGEE TO PLANT ANNE FRANK ROSE AT HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY EVENT
Rose planting will take place at the Jewish Museum, Manchester, on Thursday, January 26, 1.30pm
Premiere of Souvenir d'Anne Frank to be held on Holocaust Memorial Day itself, Friday, January 27th, Zion Arts Centre, Hulme, Manchester
A young RAPAR refugee will plant the first Anne Frank Rose in the UK at a Holocaust Memorial Day event on Thursday, January 26th.
Nineteen year old Farhad Vahidi, who is from Iran and is seeking asylum in the UK with his family, will plant the rose at the Jewish Museum garden in Manchester. His older brother Farid will read a poem at the event which begins at 1.30pm.
Following a welcome address by Max Dunbar, chief executive of the Jewish Museum, there will be speeches by Manchester city councllor Rabnawaz Akbar, Adam Kirkby from the Anne Frank Trust, and Rhetta Moran of RAPAR.
The premiere of Ensemble Theatre Company's Souvenir d'Anne Frank - a production of music, poetry, performance and song which tells the story of the rose - will be held the following evening on Holocaust Memorial Day itself (January 27th) at the Zion Arts Centre, Hulme, Manchester. The rose, which was grafted from a rose made in the year of Anne's birth and another made in the year of her death, was created in Europe in 1960.
At the planting ceremony, Azusa Ono, from Ensemble, will tell the story of the rose in Japan. It is grown by schoolchildren throughout the country and in the peace gardens at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The rose in Japan is the result of a bush sent by Anne Frank's father Otto to a young Japanese girl Michiko who had written to him after she had read his daughter's famous Diaries. Michiko's uncle was responsible for the spread of the Anne Frank rose throughout Japan.
A minute's silence will be held after Farhad Vahidi plants the rose in the Jewish Museum's garden and then children from Birchfields Primary School will tie their remembrances on a Remembering Tree. Poems will be read by the children and by members of RAPAR, and Elizabeth Mansfield of Ensemble will sing Anne Frank's “Give”.
The premiere performance of Souvenir d'Anne Frank on Friday, January 27th , is to be followed by a panel discussion which will include Dr Rhetta Moran, of RAPAR. Part of the proceeds from the evening will go to RAPAR.
Elizabeth Mansfield, of Ensemble, said Anne Frank roses sent from Japan will eventually be planted across the UK.
“We hope the roses will leave a legacy of hope and peace in memory of Anne and her longing for a tolerant, conflict-free world,” Elizabeth added.
Rhetta Moran, of RAPAR, said: "Anne Frank was a child killed by adults who created the Holocaust and who justifed their actions through Nazi ideology. It is fitting that the rose is being planted in the UK for the first time in the North West of England by a young refugee who - unlike Anne - survived to adulthood through a childhood during which his family had to flee from persecution. This is our symbol of hope alongside the rose itself, as is Farhad's continuing struggle, together with his family, friends and communities, to create a world where we never forget the lessons of that history and we fight for a better future for our children."
For more information, please contact:
Rhetta Moran 07776264646
Kath Grant 07812471047