After 25 years, Arabic-language Sesame Street just premiered in the Middle East
Remember Iftah Ya Simsim? This time it's in HD. (YouTube)
Click here to add Abu Dhabi as an alert
Disable alert for Abu Dhabi,
Click here to add Kuwait as an alert
Disable alert for Kuwait,
Click here to add Now Cairo Arafat as an alert
Disable alert for Now Cairo Arafat,
Click here to add Ya Simsim as an alert
Disable alert for Ya Simsim,
Click here to add Youtube as an alert
Disable alert for Youtube
For the first time in 25 years, the Ababic-language version of Sesame Street is airing on stations across the Middle East.
Iftah Ya Simsim (Open Sesame) first began out of a studio in Kuwait City in 1979. Back then, it was one of the first original foreign language spin-offs of the American favorite.
But the Gulf War brought the Kuwaiti capital to its knees and the studio with it. The facility was partially destroyed in the fighting and operations were closed.
Now Cairo Arafat, who remembers watching the show during her own childhood, is relaunching the series out of a studio in Abu Dhabi. She told NPR:
“If you were in Morocco, or in Egypt, or in Syria, and in all the countries throughout the Middle East, children were able to watch the show weekly, or even daily, as the show began to progress season after season,” she explains.
In one, ironically news relevent clip, Grover — or in this case Muppet Gargur — comes over to help clean up after a sandstorm, then everyone learns about recycling. Maybe the real Middle East can take something from Simsim's Middle East?
Have a look at the new version, via YouTube:
As Arafat explained, Simsim over the modern age is just like the original — only souped up in HD quality. Here's a vintage clip.
- Straight from the Muppet's mouth: Jordanian artist Natheer Khawaldeh talks Gargur and "Iftah Ya Simsim"!
- The Middle East is one of the most exciting markets for us, says Yahoo CEO
- Six-year low: oil prices slump further
- Assad insists Damascus not involved in Hariri killing as thousands take to streets in Beirut
- Women in Jordan are more educated than ever — but they still aren't working