Monday, April 16, 2012

Saudi Minister of Education endorses Iftah Ya Simsim Educational plan At the Arab Bureau of Education Awards event.

Riyadh,Saudi Arabia - Monday, April 16th 2012 [ME NewsWire]

The Arab Bureau of Education today announced the publication of the “Statement of Educational Objectives” for Iftah Ya Simsim.  The announcement came during the annual ABEGS Awards for achievements in educational research and programs.  HH Prince Faisal Bin Abdullah AlSaud, Saudi Arabian Minister of Education, was in attendance to recognize the achievement of the Arab Bureau.

The completion of Iftah Ya Simsim’s education plan comes after 2 years of preparation which included a seminar held in Riyadh in June 2011 attended by over 80 distinguished education and media experts from the seven GCC states.  The education plan will guide the development of multi-media learning materials based on the beloved Iftah Ya Simsim program which educated and entertained children across the Arab world over 20 years ago.

“We recognize media’s potential as an educational tool,” said Dr. Ali Al Karni, Director General of ABEGS, “especially as new technologies are attracting our children’s attention.”   He added: “ABEGS is coordinating with all the Gulf States to find innovative ways to equip our children with skills and knowledge to lead healthy and productive lives based on sound educational, social, Arabic and Islamic values.  Iftah Ya Simsim is one of our proud traditions celebrating our respect for education and our love for children.”

“We are grateful to ABEGS leadership,” said Robert Knezevic, Vice President of Sesame Street International, “and for support from the GCC Joint Program Production Institute, the Arab Radio and TV Organization and to SABIC for their generous sponsorship in helping to convene the experts that authored this document.”  Sesame Workshop is a global education company that specializes in establishing local media-education initiatives based on the world-famous Sesame Street model.  “We are happy to lend our support and expertize to help re-launch Iftah Ya Simsim for the next generation of young Arab citizens,” Knezevic added.

The publication of the Iftah Ya Simsim education plan completes the educational development phase of the Iftah project which now moves into phase two, the production of educational materials in a variety of media formats – television, digital, print, and live shows.

Over the next 18 months, Sesame Workshop will help establish a joint-venture company in the region whose main purpose will be to attract the best local talent to produce the new Iftah Ya Simsim for GCC audiences.  The television programs will be based on the educational principals set forth in the Statement of Educational Objectives.  Iftah Ya Simsim TV episodes are expected to begin broadcast in early 2014.

“The strategy is to establish partnerships with public and private institutions from across the region who have a passion for children and understand the importance of education,” said Knezevic.

“Introducing educational and learning programs like Iftah Ya Simsim that provide a wide array of educational goals and learning opportunities in a multitude of formats is a strategy that ABEGS endorses,” concluded Dr. Al Karni.

A PDF of the Statement of Educational Objectives can be downloaded at:

The Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States (ABEGS), located in Riyadh, is an intergovernmental regional organization that works within the six member states, (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Yemen, Kuwait, Sultanate of Oman and Qatar). It was founded by the ministers of education in 23/10/1975 to promote cooperation and coordination in the fields of culture, education, science, information and documentation. This has been the mission of the Bureau since its establishment in 1975. The main objectives of ABEGS are to contribute to the unification of the countries and people of the region by providing collaboration among them and developing collective efforts and methods of cooperation in its areas of interest, remains as relevant and necessary as ever.

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization that revolutionized children’s television programming with the landmark Sesame Street.  The Workshop produces local Sesame Street programs, seen in over 140 countries, and other acclaimed shows to help bridge the literacy gap including The Electric Company.  Beyond television, the Workshop produces content for multiple media platforms on a wide range of issues including literacy, health and military deployment. Initiatives meet specific needs to help young children and families develop critical skills, acquire healthy habits and build emotional strength to prepare them for lifelong learning.  Learn more at



Iftah YA Simsim Representative in the GCC

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Abdul Rahman Al Sharamee




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