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Sesame Street International Gives Refugee Preschoolers Emotional and Learning Lift
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By News
Published 2 months ago on
March 1, 2024

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“Ahlan Simsim” — which means “Welcome Sesame” — is a beacon of hope for Arabic-speaking refugee children and their families.

Originating from the renowned Sesame Street franchise, this Arabic-language production, which began in 2020, was purposefully crafted to address the challenges faced by children and caregivers affected by the Syrian refugee crisis.

In response to the profound impacts of crisis and displacement, Ahlan Simsim delivers crucial early learning and nurturing support. Through practical techniques such as counting, breathing exercises, and artistic expression, the program empowers children to manage their emotions effectively.

Moreover, it serves as a vital educational resource, catering to the literacy and numeracy needs of children amidst disruptions to schools and early childhood programs.

NYU Research Documents Ahlan Simsim’s Effectiveness

Research from New York University indicates that Ahlan Simsim has been remarkably effective, with an 11-week program producing results equivalent to a year’s worth of preschool education. By prioritizing family engagement and tailoring content to children’s unique needs, the program offers valuable insights for remote learning initiatives globally.

According to data from sesameworkshop.org, 87% of parents have reported that Ahlan Simsim episodes have significantly enriched their children’s emotional vocabulary.

Central to the show’s success are its endearing Muppet characters: Basma, Jad, Ma’zooza, and Ameera. Each character embodies distinct disciplines, contributing to a diverse and engaging educational experience for young viewers.

Supporters of Ahlan Simsim say it stands as a testament to the power of educational media in fostering resilience and providing support to vulnerable communities in times of crisis. In the wake of turmoil and displacement in the Middle East, “Ahlan Simsim” has become a vital lifeline for millions of children across the region.

Read more at NPR.

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