Major Conference to Propel the Alam Simsim Educational Experience Into The Future
Alkarma Edutainment and Sesame Workshop opened today a major conference on "Meeting Egyptian Children's Needs" as part of the tenth anniversary celebration of Alam Simsim, the popular children's television program.
Addressing how best to maximize the positive impact that Alam Simsim has had on Egypt’s children, the conference includes prominent members of national and multi-national businesses, broadcast media, government, non-government, early childhood education, and donor organizations. The conference aims to chart a course for the program's continued growth and success in Egypt and in the broader Arabic-speaking region.
Alam Simsim is co-produced in Egypt by Alkarma Edutainment, the Cairo-based leading provider of educational entertainment media programs in the Arab world, and Sesame Workshop, a non-profit global organization with a mission to harness the power of media to help children around the world reach their highest potential.
“This conference presents a unique opportunity to study the lessons of Alam Simsim among a group of educational experts,” Alkarma Edutainment Chairman Amr Koura said. “We are enormously proud of Alam Simsim and have organized this conference to expand on the positive impact created by the show in the last ten years.”
“The conference will not only allow us to thank everyone involved in the success of Alam Simsim,” Gary E. Knell, President and CEO of Sesame Workshop said, “but it will be a venue for discussion of the program's pioneering content and outreach programs, leading to even greater possibilities for Alam Simsim in the future.”
Funding for the series has been provided by a grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Ministry of Education and under the Ministry of Information's supervision.
Dr. Kenneth Ellis, the Director of USAID in Egypt, said, “Alam Simsim has shown how media in Egypt can also educate, both here and throughout the Middle East. USAID's work with the program has become a model for our other financed educational projects in the region, and what better way than an open conference to ensure that this now vital children's program enjoys an even brighter future.”
In preparation for the first day of the conference, attendees were asked to view six episodes of Alam Simsim. The participants will then initiate a series of discussions on a range of educational topics, from assessing the needs of Egyptian children today to reviewing the program’s educational content and its related Outreach Program and Book Project.
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.
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.