United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
30 April 2007
New season of Shara'a Simsim with focus on role models for Palestinian boys
Furry friends Haneen and Kareem celebrated the launch of the latest season of Shara’a Simsim, the Palestinian version of Sesame Street, in Ramallah on 28 April. They were joined by a host of local and international guests, including Azzam Ahmad, Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister, Gary E. Knell, President and CEO of Sesame Workshop, and many Palestinian schoolchildren.
The new season focuses on empowering Palestinian boys and encouraging them to express their feelings in non-violent ways. A new human character, Salim, who runs a Fix-It shop, has been introduced to the series to provide a positive male role model.
Salim’s character was developed in August 2006 during an intensive writing workshop sponsored by UNESCO’s Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity (with funding from the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation), which explores new ways to turn creativity in developing countries into sustainable cultural industries. Key members of the Palestinian production team focused on script writing and film editing at the workshop, with a veteran Sesame Street puppeteer and writer leading many of the creative brainstorming sessions.
Sesame Workshop has been providing quality educational programming for children in West Bank and Gaza in partnership with Al Quds University’s Institute of Modern Media since 1997.