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Afghanistan’s Sesame Street, Baghch-e-Simsim, Introduces First Afghan Muppet

One of my favorite documentaries is The World According to Sesame Street, which examines how the world’s most popular children’s show is tailored to the needs of kids in various countries while also staying true to Sesame Street‘s mission to help kids all over the world “grow smarter, stronger and kinder.” One of the things they ensure is having characters on each version of the show that the local kids can relate to. For the fifth season of the Afghan version of the show, Baghch-e-Simsim, they’re introducing their first Afghan muppet — and it’s a girl!

Her name is Zari, she’s six years old, and as you saw in the video above, her clothing is specially made according to local styles and materials, and she speaks Pashto, Dari, and English! Even better, she’ll be featured in locally produced segments focusing on things like girls’ empowerment, national identity, and physical health, sure to become a touchstone for Afghan girls all over the country!

According to The Hollywood Reporter Sherrie Westin, Sesame Workshop’s Executive VP for Global Impact and Philanthropy, says that “The exciting part about Zari is that she is modeling for young girls that it is wonderful to go to school and that it’s OK to dream about having a career.”

Getting girls excited about learning and having big dreams? That does sound exciting! Can’t wait to see what’s in store for Zari in the years to come!

(featured image via screencap)

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.