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Children in quake-hit Syria learn in buses turned classrooms – Arab News

JINDAYRIS, Syria: In a dusty Syrian camp for earthquake survivors, school pupils line up and wait for a colorful bus to pull up. Since the disaster hit, they go to a classroom on wheels.
School bags on their backs and notebooks in hand, the children took off their shoes before entering the bus, then sat down along rows of desks fitted inside.
A teacher greeted them in the mobile classroom, decorated with curtains bearing children’s designs, before they broke into a song for their English class.
The February 6 quake killed nearly 6,000 people in Syria, many of them in the war-torn country’s rebel-held northwest, and also left tens of thousands dead in Turkiye.
The Syrian town of Jindayris, in Aleppo province near the Turkish border, was among the worst hit, with homes destroyed and school buildings either levelled or turned into shelters.
“We were living in Jindayris and the earthquake happened… and then we didn’t have homes anymore,” said 10-year-old Jawaher Hilal, a light pink headscarf covering her hair.
“We came to live here and the school was very far away,” said the fifth-grader now staying with her family at the displacement camp on the outskirts of town.
As relief services were set up, she told AFP, “the buses came here and we started to study and learn. The buses are really nice, they teach us a lot.”
The traveling classrooms are a project of the non-profit Orange Organization and service more than 3,000 children at some 27 camps, said education officer Raad Al-Abd.
“The mobile classrooms offer educational services as well as psychological support to children who were affected by the quake,” he said.
More than three months after the quake, 3.7 million children in Syria “continue to face desperate conditions and need humanitarian assistance,” says the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF.
“Almost 1.9 million children have had their education disrupted, with many schools still being used as shelters,” it added in a statement this month.
In northwest Syria alone, “a minimum of 452 primary and secondary schools” were reportedly damaged to varying degrees, the UN humanitarian agency OCHA said weeks ago.
“More than 1 million school-aged children need education support and are at risk of being out of school,” it said, adding that at least 25,000 teachers are also in need of help, including “mental health and psychosocial support.”
On another bus, boys and girls enthusiastically interacted with the teacher, balloons hanging from the ceiling, for lessons that included Arabic, math and science.
Outside in the bare dirt, children sang in a circle and clapped along with the educators.
As the buses left, pulling out through the road running between the camps’ tents, adjacent structures and trees, the children yelled out and waved goodbye.
Jawaher’s father Ramadan Hilal expressed relief and gratitude for the initiative.
“After the earthquake there were no more schools or anything else,” he said. “Even though they wanted to establish schools, they are far away.”

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Cedric Myton Calls For Preservation, Protection Of Reggae Music In … – DancehallMag

Reggae singer Cedric Myton is urging the people of Jamaica to do everything they can to preserve and protect Reggae music.  

“Reggae started out in the 1960s as the music of the downtrodden, the people who society shoved aside, the forgotten ones. It gave a voice to the voiceless not only in Jamaica but also in places like Zimbabwe and South Africa. Due to the hard work of many great Jamaican artistes, musicians, and producers, today reggae is known all over the world,” said the Where He Leads Me singer.

He continued, “However it no longer holds pride of place in Jamaica because nothing is being done by the authorities to make sure reggae is played on the radio stations.”

“There’s a whole generation of youths in Jamaica who don’t know anything about reggae music because they grew up listening to foreign music and dancehall on the radio. This situation needs to be fixed before Reggae disappears from our culture just like Ska. When I was a little boy ska was very popular but nobody in Jamaica even plays it anymore. I hope the same thing will not happen to reggae music.”  

The veteran entertainer, 76, who is a founding member of the pioneering reggae group The Congos, is currently promoting his new solo album, which is titled History of the Rasta Man.  

The 10-track album features songs such as Rasta Wear a Crown, Music Treasure, Things Can Be Real Again and the title track History of the Rastaman.  

“This is an authentic roots reggae album, all the songs on it carry powerful messages of love and inspiration for the people. This album is all about consciousness and unity,” he said.  

Produced by Alphonso Henclewood, History of the Rastaman was released on the Montego Records label on May 12.  

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Ice Cube faces backlash after describing A.I. as ‘demonic’ – The Zimbabwe Mail

Ice Cube

Rapper Ice Cube is the latest high profile figure to speak out against generative Artificial Intelligence (A.I.).

The veteran Compton, California, rapper recently responded to a Tweet challenging his point of view by doubling down on his recent claim that A.I. was demonic.

After a Twitter user by the name of David Robbins cited an article by Fortune magazine that sought to make a case that Cube was a hypocrite for criticising A.I. during an interview on the Full Send podcast on the basis that Cube has a history of sampling other music, Cube fired back.

“Samples are approved or denied by the song owners,” he said. “Totally different than taking a dead artist and making a new song they never approved and saying things they may not agree with. That’s evil and demonic to me.”

Previously, during the aforementioned interview, Cube had sparked controversy online when he shared his controversial views on the matter, “I think A.I. is demonic. I think there’s gonna be a backlash because of A.I. I think people are gonna want things organic and not artificial.”

His tweet drew a range of responses:

“So the dead artists you’ve sampled who don’t own their songs due to slave contracts and may not agree with what you are saying on the record; yet you got the greenlight to sample it,” said @360_karma.

“But the beef is with A.I. music ? Run that back one more time and make it make sense.”

@visisyd added: “agree to a point,.. depending on the context of lyrics and intent tho. I had the idea years ago before the technology existed,.. wanting something creative for my vocals and it actually work with the concept behind my music.”

@reallythough described A.I. tech as inevitable. “Nothing demonic about simply using new tech to play around with voices you love from artists who put out recordings O.G. Completely inevitable actually. Dead that weird thinking.”

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High Anticipation for Upcoming GRD Winter Festival – ZDDT

The upcoming Geraldine Roche Drama (GRD) winter festival is the talk of the town, and everyone is eagerly looking forward to it.

The festival is scheduled to take place on the 25th of May and the 3rd and 10th of June, at the Academy of Music in Bulawayo. The top five groups from the recently concluded GRD competition, re-slated to showcase their best performances, and is promising to be a treat for the audience.

GRD is a non-profit organization aiming to uplift the youth in arts and drama by providing them with opportunities to further their careers.

The winter festival is just one of the many initiatives to promote and support the local drama scene.

“We’re expecting a lot of fun and entertaining shows that are equally educative in modern-day society” said the GRD coordinator Khally Sibanda, beaming with excitement. “The youth drama groups have put in a lot of hard work and dedication, and we’re confident that they will put on a spectacular show.”

The youth drama groups had been rehearsing for months, perfecting their acts, and polishing their performances.

They are all eager to showcase their talent and hard work on the big stage. The Geraldine Roche Drama winter festival has truly been a celebration of the talent and creativity of the youth of Bulawayo and has drama enthusiasts looking forward to every new edition of the festival.

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