Sesame Street muppets bring on the action as filming scenes begins in Abu Dhabi

Published February 3rd, 2015 - 07:45 GMT

The all new season of the popular 80’s muppet show Iftah Ya Simsim will be back on TV, its in-studio production was announced recently. Targeted at the educational needs of children aged four to six, the show has announced its list of muppet characters and their Arab puppeteers.

The all new season of the show will bring back the popular local characters such as No’man, and Melsoon with two new additions to the muppet family namely Shams and Gargur.

Abdullah Kassem from KSA, and UAE national Asma Alshamsi, will give voice to Iftah Ya Simsim’s two lead characters – No’man and Shams, respectively. Natheer Khawaldeh from Jordan will play the role of Gargur, while Syrian actor Maher Mozawak will bring rhyme, music and wisdom to the charming character of Melsoon. Noura Sadaka and Michel Jabali will make up the rest of the impressive talent list for the other muppets on the new Iftah Ya Simsim show.

“This has been a venture that I have been looking forward to ever since I was taken on board Iftah Ya Simsim. I am so enthusiastic to finally start working on such a show that is a far more enriching and amazing experience than I had ever imagined,” said Abdullah Kassem, the puppeteer behind No’man.

Joining the pool of cast will be human characters, Rashid and Amal, the ambitious siblings in Iftah Ya Simsim who came back to the neighborhood where they grew up and had fond memories of as children. Saudi talent Abdulla Rafaah will play the role of Rashid, while the Emirati artist Fatma Al Taei, will play Amal.

The show is being produced by Bidaya Media, a children’s education content development company based in Abu Dhabi.

“This is an exciting time as we finally see all our hard work and preparation being executed with the start of the in-studio production, for Iftah Ya Simsim. Our talent represents the potential within the region and the puppeteers are excited to begin work on this venture,” said Cairo Arafat, Managing Director of Bidaya Media.

Iftah Ya Simsim is a pioneer in its field being the first locally created and produced Arabic speaking version of world’s longest-running education TV series for kids Sesame Street. All of Iftah Ya Simsim’s content is based on the educational curriculum and objectives that are regularly reviewed and updated by the Educational Advisory Committee and the representatives of the Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States (ABEGS).

The show, which is well on its way to reaching the homes of children in the region, is set to launch later this year. The heart and soul that has gone into creating this show is set to materialise and bring educative, informative and enriching fun into the lives of those deemed to be the future vanguard of the region.

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