alam simsim unveils agenda for tenth anniversary celebration
Alkarma Edutainment, Sesame Workshop and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced today the agenda for the tenth anniversary celebration of Alam Simsim, the award winning television program for pre-schoolers in Egypt.
In a press conference held today, the organizers announced that they will present First Lady Suzanne Mubarak with the Sesame Workshop Pioneer Award in recognition of her strong support for the program since its inception in 1997. The award ceremony will be incorporated into Alam Simsim’s 10th anniversary celebration. A major two-day conference beginning Monday, April 23, 2007 will also accompany the celebration with a panel of local and international experts addressing how best to continue Alam Simsim's positive impact on Egypt’s children.
"The education conference is an excellent venue to explore new methods of educating children through the media while reflecting on what Alam Simsim accomplished," said Alkarma Edutainment Chairman Amr Koura. "With the popularity that Alam Simsim today enjoys among millions of Egyptian children, we welcome corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives from private and public organizations who would like to contribute to societal development," Koura said.
"It is our pleasure to present Mrs. Mubarak with this award in honor of her tireless efforts as a champion of education," said Gary E. Knell, President and CEO of Sesame Workshop. "We share in her commitment to bring relevant content to children in all forms of media to help them to reach their highest potential."
Following the award ceremony, which will also be attended by Egypt's Minister of Culture Farouk Hosny, Minister of Information Anas El-Fekky, Minister of International Cooperation Mrs. Fayza Aboulnaga and Minister of Education Yousry El-Gamal, a major conference with international experts will focus on ways that Alam Simsim can best continue to have a measurable impact on young children. The conference program will reflect upon Alam Simsim's success in its several endeavors, which include an extensive parental outreach training program for caregivers of children across Egypt, diverse conclusive research findings detailing the impact of both media and outreach training on the viewership and change in attitude and behavior amongst children and adults, as well as case studies of successful local and global promotional licensing and sponsorship initiatives promoting positive public-private partnerships.
The conference will chart a course for the program’s continued growth and success in Egypt and the broader Arabic-speaking region. Prominent members of national and multi-national businesses, broadcast media, educational, government and non-government organizations (NGOs) such as the Johns Hopkins University, the World Food Program, early childhood education leaders, and donor organizations are attending the event.
The conference will reveal research findings about the content of Alam Simsim, which teaches important topics for young children such as health, the environment, spelling and counting, while encouraging children to be proud of who they are, appreciate different ways of life and respect each other—all in fun and engaging ways. It will also explore different methods of engaging various members of the private, public, NGO, and broadcast sectors to form public-private partnerships, which will help sustain the show for years to come.
“The American people are proud of our involvement in helping Alam Simsim contribute to the education of young Egyptians,” said Francis J. Ricciardone, the U.S. Ambassador to Egypt. "We look forward to Alam Simsim's continued success in the future."
Alkarma Edutainment, the Cairo-based leading provider of educational entertainment media programs in the Arab world, partnered with Sesame Workshop, a non-profit global organization with a mission to harness the power of media to help children around the world to reach their highest potential, to produce Alam Simsim. The program has captivated the minds of young children in Egypt since its inception in 1997.
Alam Simsim incorporates an innovative curriculum created by Egyptian educators, child development experts, scriptwriters, and filmmakers to encourage children to develop positive self-esteem and self-image, to respect and appreciate others, to celebrate Egyptian culture, and to encourage a life-long love of learning. This has made Alam Simsim a cultural force in Egypt that is loved by children, trusted by parents and respected by educators.
Targeted to preschoolers, Alam Simsim incorporates humor, music and daily life situations to provide valuable life lessons. Alam Simsim is produced in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, which helps maintain the educational content of the show, and the Ministry of Information, which supports the series by facilitating broadcast on Egyptian television. Funding for the series has been provided by a grant from USAID through the Ministry of Education and under the Ministry’s supervision.
About Alkarma Edutainment
Alkarma Edutainment is the leading provider of educational entertainment media programs in the Arab World. With headquarters in Cairo and offices in Beirut and Dubai, Alkarma Edutainment offers services in a diverse range of media production categories, such as content formulation, production, broadcasting, marketing, merchandising and community outreach. The company was first created specifically to produce Alam Simsim, Egypt’s co-production of the children’s educational show, Sesame Street. It then attracted international attention for its professional, innovative work in edutainment, including achievements in community outreach and merchandizing support as well as broadcast production. Its members bring 20 years of experience in media communications to their tasks. Alkarma Edutainment’s strong alliances with major broadcasters and multinational corporations in the Arab world have secured its effectiveness and influence.
About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is a nonprofit educational organization making a meaningful difference in the lives of children around the world. Founded in 1968, the Workshop changed television forever with the legendary Sesame Street. Today, the Workshop continues to innovate on behalf of children in 120 countries, using its proprietary research methodology to ensure its programs and products are engaging and enriching. Sesame Workshop is behind award-winning programs like Dragon Tales, Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat, Pinky Dinky Doo and groundbreaking multimedia productions in South Africa, Egypt and Russia. As a non-profit, Sesame Workshop puts the proceeds it receives from sales of its products back into its educational projects for children around the world. Find the Workshop online at www.sesameworkshop.org.
USAID is an independent agency that has provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for more than 40 years.
In Egypt, U.S. economic assistance has directly raised the quality of life for millions of Egyptian citizens. Egypt’s fundamental development challenges are addressed through USAID-funded programs that focus on Economic growth including environment and antiquities; Education, including workforce development; Health, including family planning, infectious disease surveillance and response; Infrastructure, including water and wastewater, electric power, and telecommunications, and Democracy and governance including the administration of justice, Egyptian NGOs and Citizen participation and institutions.
U.S. economic assistance to Egypt through the United States Agency for International Development has totaled $28.06 billion since 1975, with another $455 million in spending budgeted for 2007.