190 Guests from 25 Countries Set to Enrich Young Minds at SCRF

The Sharjah Children's Reading Festival (SCRF) logo
The Sharjah Children's Reading Festival (SCRF) logo
TT

190 Guests from 25 Countries Set to Enrich Young Minds at SCRF

The Sharjah Children's Reading Festival (SCRF) logo
The Sharjah Children's Reading Festival (SCRF) logo

The Sharjah Children's Reading Festival (SCRF), renowned for its ability to unite global literary enthusiasts and bring the undeniable power of reading to the youth, is making a comeback next month, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.

Organized by Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) and set to take place from May 1 to 12 in Expo Center Sharjah, the region’s largest event dedicated to nurturing the imaginations of young minds, carries the theme ‘Once Upon a Hero’ this year.

There will be 190 guests from 25 countries. Leading the pack is Jerry Craft, a distinguished American cartoonist and children's book illustrator, whose syndicated comic strip "Mama's Boyz" and graphic novels such as "New Kid" and "Class Act" have earned him widespread acclaim.

Joining Craft is Raúl The Third, a New York Times bestselling illustrator and author, celebrated for his evocative portrayals of the contemporary Mexican-American experience.

Further enhancing the festival's agenda is Dr. Caroline Leaf, a world-famous communication pathologist and neuroscientist from the United States. Renowned for her research on the mind-brain connection, Dr. Leaf's expertise in mental health and memory formation promises to enlighten and inspire attendees.

Hailing from Malaysia, Stacy C. Bauer and Ying Ying Ng bring their unique talents to the forefront. Bauer, a prolific writer known for her humorous anecdotes and relatable storytelling, is set to regale audiences with tales of childhood adventures. Ng, with over three decades of experience in music education, offers invaluable insights into the world of creativity and learning.

Malaysia's David Chek Ling Ngo rounds out the top tier of distinguished guests, bringing his wealth of knowledge in leadership and academic excellence to the fore. Recognized as one of the Top 2 percent Scientists Worldwide by Stanford University, Ngo's contributions to the fields of education and institutional growth are nothing short of exemplary.

According to WAM, the festival will also play host to a diverse array of luminaries from around the globe. From Georgia, Lia Shalvashvili, an esteemed author and educator, joins the fray with her extensive repertoire of children's literature. The United States contributes Dr. Al Jones, a distinguished psychologist specializing in educational and gender psychology, further enriching the festival's intellectual discourse.

Not to be overlooked are the notable guests from India, including Mamta Nainy, Bethany Clark, and Sohini Mitra, each bringing their unique perspectives on children's literature and publishing to the table.

Other noteworthy figures include Cathy Camper from the US, Joanne Steer from the UK, Dr. Sandy Zanella from Mexico, Toyin Akanni from Nigeria, Deeba Zargarpur representing Afghanistan and the US, Liam Kelly from Ireland, Hannah Moushabeck from the US, Lauren Tamaki also from the US, Leila Boukarim, Jane Mount, and Zelmaré Viljoen.



Colombia’s Congress Votes to Ban Bullfights, Dealing a Blow to the Centuries-Old Tradition 

An animal rights activist holds a puppy while taking part in a demonstration demanding the approval of a law that prohibits bullfights, cockfights and events where animals are abused, in Bogota, Colombia, October 5, 2022. (Reuters)
An animal rights activist holds a puppy while taking part in a demonstration demanding the approval of a law that prohibits bullfights, cockfights and events where animals are abused, in Bogota, Colombia, October 5, 2022. (Reuters)
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Colombia’s Congress Votes to Ban Bullfights, Dealing a Blow to the Centuries-Old Tradition 

An animal rights activist holds a puppy while taking part in a demonstration demanding the approval of a law that prohibits bullfights, cockfights and events where animals are abused, in Bogota, Colombia, October 5, 2022. (Reuters)
An animal rights activist holds a puppy while taking part in a demonstration demanding the approval of a law that prohibits bullfights, cockfights and events where animals are abused, in Bogota, Colombia, October 5, 2022. (Reuters)

Colombia’s congress voted Tuesday to ban bullfights in the South American nation, delivering a serious blow to a centuries-old tradition that has inspired famous songs and novels but has become increasingly controversial in the countries where it is still practiced.

The bill calls for the banning of bullfights in a three-year span, making the tradition illegal by the start of 2028. The new law now needs to be signed by President Gustavo Petro, who has been a longtime opponent of these events.

Bullfighting originated in the Iberian Peninsula and is still legal in a handful of countries, including Spain, France, Portugal, Peru, Ecuador and Mexico.

It was once a popular event, broadcast live by multiple television networks. But the tradition has come under increased scrutiny as views change about animal welfare, and many find it unacceptable to see an animal suffer for entertainment's sake.

“This ban is a huge victory for organizations that have worked to transform society and reject violence against animals," said Terry Hurtado, an animal rights activist and city council member in Cali, who has been leading protests against bullfights since the 1990s. “I feel relieved that bulls and horses (which also participate in some bullfights) in Colombia will no longer be tortured, and that children will no longer be exposed to this spectacle.”

In bullfights, a matador faces bulls that are bred to be aggressive. The matador taunts the bull with a red cape and kills the animal with the blow of a sword after it has been injured with lances and daggers, and is tired of charging at the matador in a circular arena.

In Colombia, where bullfights have been held since colonial times, less than two dozen municipalities continue to hold these events, although the annual bullfights in the city of Manizales still draw tens of thousands of spectators.

Bullfighting aficionados described the ban as an assault on the freedoms of minorities as well as a problem for cities where these events draw thousands of visitors.