The Comeback of Iftah Ya Simsim, The Arabic Production of Sesame Street (@iftahshow)

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Article in brief: As the Arabic production of Sesame Street is returning after more than 2 decades of hiatus, the author explores the background of the show in it’s original and Arabic production forms.

Iftah Ya Simsim - Picture provided by Bidaya Media
Iftah Ya Simsim – Picture provided by Bidaya Media

The question isn’t whether you know it’s back or not, the question is: will it have the same impact now as it first did back then? It’s safe to say that the majority of those who are extremely excited about the comeback are either the generation born in the late 70s and 80s, or the generation who are parents to them. We’re talking about the official comeback of Iftah Ya Simsim, the Arabic production of Sesame Street. Before we talk about the comeback, let’s shed some light on the history and background of both the original and the Arabic productions.

Sesame Street, first aired in 1969, it’s an educational-entertainment show that targets preschoolers. Joan Cooney founded the show with a huge part of its success contributed by Jim Henson, who brought in the complete set of Muppets that Sesame Street is famous for. The main purpose of the show is to teach kids: numbers, letters, words, and grow in them the love of learning, developing, and their sense of curiosity all in a fun and entertaining approach. Sesame Street across the years has been used as a vehicle to instill certain values in the kids in fascinating ways, one of the most obvious examples being racial acceptance and equality among the new generation. They included “ethnic” kids in the show at a time civil rights were newly given to the African Americans in the US. The founder, Joan Cooney, told the Newsweek in an interview few years ago, that it is possible the ethnicity inclusion introduced in Sesame Street may have planted the seeds to now have an African American US president.

The rest of the article is published on Sail Magazine via this link.

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