Palestinian Sesame Street victim of politics

0 Posted by - January 7, 2012 - Blog, Screen

Palestine’s Sesame Street – in Arabic known as Shara’a Simsim – will not go into production this season. The US Congress is to blame.

In October, when Palestine was admitted membership in UNESCO, the US withheld some $200 million in retaliation.  Hospitals, communications, education, government programs in Palestine have all been effected.   And so has the production of Shara’a Simsim.

Shara’a Simsim has produced five intermittent seasons since 1996.   The main characters are a red-headed orange muppet names Haneen, and a green rooster named Kareem.  The program promotes peace and tolerance.

According to the CBC, when funding is available, educators work with with child psychologists at the beginning of each season to develop stories and themes.  The 20 minute programs are filmed in Ramallah and aired on Palestinian national television.

For more coverage, check out the Guardian and CBC.


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