'Sesame Street' To Debut in Afghanistan

Posted by Nicole Nucelli
November 30, 2011
Ambassador Ryan Crocker With Children Attending the Sesame Street Launch in Afghanistan

Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street, in partnership with TOLO TV and LEMAR TV stations, have produced Baghch-e-Simsim, a brand new children's television series featuring locally produced live action films and the Muppets from Sesame Street, to engage and help educate the young children of Afghanistan.

"Sesame Workshop is thrilled to work with TOLO and LEMAR television to create a series locally that not only seeks to educate and prepare children for a lifetime of learning, but also provides a unique vision into Afghan culture that children can identify with and learn from," says H. Melvin Ming, CEO and President, Sesame Workshop.

Designed to meet this need for early education, the 26 half-hour series of Baghch-e-Simsim, produced in consultation with Afghanistan's Ministry of Education, will be broadcast in both Dari and Pashto languages and premiere December 1, 2011. Baghch-e-Simsim contains 13 locally produced live action films that depict traditions, culture, and other aspects of urban and rural life in Afghanistan.

"It is a fundamental fact that media plays a significant role in education development through educational and public awareness programs. In light of this fact, the Ministry of Education has focused on providing distance educational programs through its Education TV. I believe that the Baghch-e-Simsim program that depict traditions, culture, and other aspects of Afghan rural and urban life are profoundly useful for the cognitive development of our children and transforming our society towards, social welfare, economic growth, and durable peace," stated Deputy Afghan Minister of Education Patman.

"Teachers here in Afghanistan will discover that Sesame Street can help children start school well prepared. Perhaps most importantly, it shows children the world around them," stated U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker.

These two-to-three minute mini-documentaries feature and celebrate the daily lives of young children from across Afghanistan and introduce one another to the rich diversity of the country's various provinces. Additionally, the furry and feathered friends from Sesame Street, like Elmo, Big Bird, and Grover, will be on hand to encourage children in core-competencies like literacy, math, school readiness, and life skills with a special emphasis on girl's education, diversity, and cultural awareness. Sesame Muppets from co-productions around the world, including Egypt, Bangladesh, Mexico, and Russia will also be featured in segments throughout the series.

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