New Arabic Show Aims To Help Refugee Children Deal With War And Displacement Trauma

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New Arabic Show Aims To Help Refugee Children Deal With War And Displacement Trauma

Ryan Donnell/Sesame Workshop


American educational children’s tv series “Sesame Street” aims to help refugee children suffering from war and displacement by airing on channels in the Middle East, such as Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq, together with local channels and YouTube.


The episodes will be 26-minute long and explore emotions experienced by all children, but mainly relevant to those struggling with the trauma of displacement. The show will also suggest coping mechanisms for feelings such as anger, fear, frustration, worry, and loneliness.


Called “Ahlan Simsim”, meaning “Welcome Sesame” in Arabic, the show will have a new Muppet friends by the name of as Basma, a purple Muppet that befriends the yellow Jad, who’s new to the neighborhood after being forced to leave his house, while featuring the popular characters Elmo, Cookie Monster and Grover.


The series will follow Basma and Jad as they explore their world with the help of trusted adults, animated characters, and friends, including a baby goat named Mazooza.


There are now over 65 million people worldwide who have been forced to leave their homes due to conflict or disaster (UNHCR). Many struggle to meet their basic needs, but the psychological trauma of their displacement is not as visible, and sometimes overlooked. Especially in the case of young children, it is essential to understand that having their lives uprooted has often led them to suffer from nightmares or demonstrate more severe symptoms.


The program launched by Sesame Workshop – the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street – was initially funded by a $100 million award by John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.


The LEGO Foundation then awarded an additional $100 million to deepen the play-based learning of “Ahlan Simsim” and gave Sesame Workshop the chance to expand to Bangladesh to serve families affected by the Rohingya crisis.

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Thinking Humanity: New Arabic Show Aims To Help Refugee Children Deal With War And Displacement Trauma
New Arabic Show Aims To Help Refugee Children Deal With War And Displacement Trauma
American educational children’s tv series “Sesame Street” aims to help refugee children suffering from war and displacement by airing on channels in the Middle East, such as Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq, together with local channels and YouTube.
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