SESAME STREET OUTREACH EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS

MEND has worked on two projects with Sesame Workshop of New York (formerly Children’s Television
Workshop) – producing educational materials for 4 – 8 year-olds to accompany and reinforce the
messages of the two Palestinian-Israeli (and Jordanian) television series, and featuring two Palestinian
Muppets Haneen and Kareem.

The first series (1998-2000) consisted of two (evergreen) activity books, a home video, an audio
cassette, a poster, several newspaper activity pages and a teachers’ guide to the video. They were
distributed throughout Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and among Palestinians inside Israel.
The main goals of this series were self-respect, literacy, appreciation of Palestinian culture, intra-
Palestinian respect and respect for others, including Israelis.

The second series (2002-4) consisted of a story book, a poster, a home video, seven public service
announcements, stickers, newspaper advertisements and activities, and tote bags. They also included
a reprint of the second activity book from the earlier series since it was so much in demand. The primary
goal of this series was to promote reading, partly as the television series this time was the experimental
“sesame stories” and partly because there is a need to encourage reading among Palestinian children.
The goals also included appreciation of differences and mutual respect as core Sesame goals.

There is a serious lack of children’s materials in Palestine, and especially of high quality materials that
can be reused over and over again. Both the two series were designed by a highly professional team
that included Dr. Cairo Arafat, the Director of the Secretariat for the Palestinian Child at the Ministry of
Planning, Khalil Abu Arafeh, cartoonist with Al-Quds newspaper and Turbo publishers with artist/designer
Taysir Masriyyeh. All the work was very closely coordinated with Sesame Workshop in New York at every
stage to ensure the educational content and the quality.
The next series will be entirely separate for Palestinians, with no cross-over or sharing with either Israelis
or Jordanians, but the overall messages of understanding and open-mindedness will be the same. Work
has already started with both the Jordanians and the Israelis, and should be under way soon too for the
Palestinians.
Mend And Sesame: A World of A Project