Since 2011, the Syrian conflict has displaced more than 12 million people, including 5 million children. Almost two in five children across the Middle East now live in conflict zones. With an unprecedented investment from the MacArthur Foundation and additional support from the LEGO Foundation, Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) partnered to create Ahlan Simsim (“Welcome Sesame” in Arabic), a groundbreaking program delivering vital early learning and nurturing care to children and caregivers. With the Ahlan Simsim TV show airing across the Middle East and North Africa, as well as play-based learning and caregiver support services in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, Ahlan Simsim reaches families with the educational resources they need to help them thrive.
Ahlan Simsim features characters such as Jad, a boy Muppet who had to leave his home and recently moved to the neighborhood, and Basma, a gregarious girl Muppet who welcomes Jad with open arms. Together, they go on adventures, learn through play, and help children build the resilience they need to reach their full potential. We are partnering with NYU Global TIES for Children to evaluate and learn from the program. Watch clips from Ahlan Simsim here.