Iftah Ya Simsim (“Open Sesame” in Arabic) is the premier Arabic educational and empowerment program for children under the age of 8 throughout the Middle East. A revolutionary show that was called “one of the most successful pan-Arab collaborations of educators, creators, writers and artists from the Middle East,” it originally aired from 1979-1989. A new Iftah Ya Simsim launched in 2015 and is more influential than ever. Now on 16 channels throughout the MENA Region (Middle East and North Africa) and on YouTube (18+ million views), Iftah Ya Simsim focuses on enhancing children’s ability to communicate, think, create, express emotions, socialize, and problem solve in Arabic.
Like Sesame Street, Iftah Ya Simsim is dedicated to children’s cognitive, social, emotional, and physical well-being. With an appreciation for the uniqueness of every child, locally beloved characters No'man, Shams, Melsoon, and Gargor encourage children’s exploration and interaction with their families, schools, and communities, and their holistic development within ever-expanding physical, social, and virtual environments.
From lifestyle lessons in healthy eating, exercise, and physical and dental hygiene to STEAM basics in numeracy, engineering, and science to respect, relationships, and resilience, Iftah Ya Simsim delivers joyful learning while providing children with the skills they need to learn, grow, and reach their full potential. A special Ramadan series brings the values of family to the forefront, with children and their character friends spending quality time together, cooking healthy meals with parents, and learning the critical importance of sharing and caring for each other every day.