Baghch-e-Simsim (باغچهٔ سم سم, "Sesame Garden") is a Dari- and Pashto-language children's television series launched in Afghanistan in December 2011, based on the American Sesame Street. Characters appearing in the show include Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Grover (called Kajkoal), Ernie (called Hadi) and Bert. In April 2016, a local Afghan female muppet named Zari was added to Baghch-e-Simsim. Zari's brother Zeerak will be introduced in 2017.
|Country of origin||Afghanistan|
|Original language(s)||Dari and Pashto|
|Original network||Tolo TV|
|Original release||December 1, 2011|
Sesame Street was first introduced to Afghanistan in 2004 as Koche Sesame, which was shown on state-owned television and as a teaching tool within some schools in the form of DVDs. One of the segments was "Grover Around the World", based directly on the "Global Grover" segments of the American original, as well as Sesame Street, and Play with Me Sesame.  The new Baghch-e-Simsim version "will be partly filmed in Afghanistan with the rest lifted from other versions in Muslim countries including Egypt and Bangladesh", as well as Mexico and Russia.
The project is funded by the U.S. embassy in Kabul and is produced in consultation with Afghanistan's Ministry of Education. Baghch-e-Simsim's initial 26 half-hour episodes were aired in Dari language on locally owned Tolo TV. The Pashto version was later be aired on Lemar TV. Education in Afghanistan is very low and Baghch-e-Simsim is designed to help with that, especially Afghan children because about 45% of the population is younger than 15.
The Executive Producer of Sesame Street Season 01 was Tania Farzana. The Executive Producer of Baghch-s-Simsim for Season 02, Season 03 and the beginning of Season 04 was Tarique Qayumi.
TV channels and scheduleEdit
The show is broadcast:
- Every Thursday through Sunday at 4PM on Tolo TV.
- Every Thursday and Friday at 5PM and Saturdays and Sundays at 3:30PM on Lemar TV.
- Farmer, Ben (November 30, 2011). "Sesame Street to be broadcast in Afghanistan". Kabul: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
- Sesame Street goes to Afghanistan by Jon Boone in Kabul for the Guardian. 30 November 2011.
- Sesame Street debuts in Afghanistan
- Christopher Mele, ed. (April 11, 2016). "Afghan 'Sesame Street' Introduces Zari, a Muppet and Role Model for Girls". The New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
- Sandy Petrykowski, ed. (April 12, 2016). "Meet Zari, Sesame Street's new female Afghan Muppet". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
- How to get to 'Sesame Street' in Afghanistan, USA Today, April 30, 2004.
- DeMott, Rick (December 1, 2011). "Sesame Street To Debut In Afghanistan". AWN News. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
- Sesame Street comes to Afghanistan, December 2, 2011.
- Afghan children ready to walk down Sesame Street by Daniel Magnowski for Reuters. November 30, 2011.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-03-14. Retrieved 2015-04-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- Meet Zari: Afghanistan’s first female ‘Sesame Street’ character (CNN video), April 26, 2016
- Embassy of the United States, Kabul, Afghanistan - Sesame Street Launch 2011.11.30