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GAZA， Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- In the war-torn Palestinian Gaza Strip， a private cultural center helps children alleviate stress and trauma to restart life through art.
At the Atelier Center in Gaza City， dozens of children gather in rooms and a small garden to learn painting or playing musical instrument.
Established in 2012， the center has since moved to a new location and expanded its programs to include both drawing and music instruments. Few schools in Gaza teach both.
Seba Sarraj， nine， learns drawing and playing guitar at Atelier.
"I am really connected to the center emotionally，" she said. "I have many friends here and I want to continue learning here."
The center， which enrolls children between eight and 16， charges a small fee for the courses， taking into consideration the dire economic situation in the poverty-stricken enclave.
The number of students has been growing steadily as more parents become aware of the center's positive results in improving the learners' artistic aptitude and easing their stress and trauma.
Over the past six years， Israel and the Hamas movement， which rules Gaza， have been engaged in three major wars that claimed the lives of thousands of Palestinians and Israelis， including hundreds of children.
An ongoing blockade on the enclave has pushed Gaza deeper into poverty， with jobless rate hitting 42.7 percent， according to official figures.
International organizations say more than 60 percent of Gaza's 1.9 million residents live in food insecurity and hundreds of thousands rely on foreign food aid.
And Atelier Center seeks to move the children's attention away from the dire political and economic situation gripping the Gaza Strip， in addition to tapping their artistic talent.
"Gaza is full of artistic talents that really need improvement and education，" Rasha Abu Zayed， founder of the center， told Xinhua. "We want to make an artistic boom in Gaza through our center."
"Our idea is not only improving the talent of the children， but also creating a new environment that would push the children forward to learn in a way similar to those in Europe and other modern countries，" said Abu Zayed， herself a professional visual artist.
She believes that art centers like hers play a vital role in protecting the society from collapse and particularly in ensuring that children are able to recover from the conflicts' brutal psychological and physical impact.
For 11-year-old Maymna Jarada， the center has become her second home where she can find safety and hope.
"My dream is to be a fashion designer，" Jarada said. "I joined the center to learn drawing as a first step to achieve my dream."
"I'm really doing well here as I learned much from my teachers，" she said， drawing a portrait.
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, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Friday lashed out at gay rights activists, hostile European countries, and a defiant opposition as the country celebrated independence for Britain in 1980.
, a revolutionary-turned-administrator who is in his 90s, delivered the hour-long speech to tens of thousands of supporters who showed up at the sprawling National Sports Stadium at the capital Harare's west suburbs.
As in the past, the Zimbabwean leader did not least try to hide his disgust of the enemies.
He hit out at European countries that did not recognize the landslide victories he and his Zanu-PF's scored at last year's presidential and parliamentary polls.
"Europe is full of lies. Europe of yesterday is gone that Europe of today has no principles
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," said Mugabe, who and his wife remain on the EU's sanction list since 2002. "Europe will never ever accept a Zanu-PF government in this country."
He also accused the West of promoting gay rights in Africa and in particular cutting short aid to Uganda over the country's passage of an anti-gay law.
"Let Europe keep their homosexual nonsense there and live with it. We will never have it here. The act (homosexuality) is not humane," Mugabe said. "Any diplomat who talks about homosexuality (in Zimbabwe) will be kicked out. There is no excuse and we won't listen to them."
He warned the local gay rights group
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, Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe, of recruiting followers from the country's colleges and universities, calling the legally-registered group a secret organization that he was not aware of until recently.
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, Mugabe said his government will not sit and watch while opposition members, with the backing of some nongovernmental organizations, try to destabilize the country.
The warning came as the main opposition party MDC-T
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, which has its stronghold in trade unions, threatened to stage nationwide demonstrations this week against the government for failing to create jobs.
The MDC-T's national youth assembly spokesperson Clifford Hlatywayo was quoted in the media as saying that the party's youths were prepared to take to the streets to display their anger.
"But I want to say we shall never tolerate acts of violence. If people go out to create violence because they are being instigated, I will unleash the security forces to deal with you
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," Mugabe said. "The security forces are my weapon."
He also castigated violence in the opposition party which has lately been riddled with internal fighting which is threatening to tear the party apart.
The first cashier-less store in Beijing Photo:Chen QingqingGT Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma Yun demonstrates facial recognition technology. Photo: Courtesy of Face++
When staff members of Megvii Technology Inc punch in, they only have to pass through an automated gate and their name will appear on the screen above it.
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