Iftah Ya Simsim partners with YouTube’s Creators for Change to amplify voices of tolerance and empathy


Producers of Iftah Ya Simsim, an Arabic version of children’s television icon Sesame Street have joined forces with the platform’s Creators for Change initiative, a global effort to amplify the voices of YouTube role models who tackle social issues with their YouTube channels.


Launched in September of last year, Creators for Change aims to empower creators around the globe to continue sharing powerful messages that help create positive social impact through their work on YouTube. Omar Hussein who is one of the programme’s 11 global ambassadors is joined by Arab creators Maha Abdelghaffar, Shog Al Meskary and Ezaldeen Aref as Creators for Change fellows.

“We believe in the power of starting early and starting right,” said Dr. Cairo Arafat, Managing Director of Bidaya Media, which produces Iftah Ya Simsim, “Changing the world for the better is something every one of us can do, and helping young children learn these positive behaviors and practice them in their relationships with siblings, neighbors, classmates, and friends lays the foundation for more tolerant and accepting societies. We’re proud to include our Iftah Ya Simsim Muppets, Shams, No’man, Melsoon, Elmo, Gargur, Kaaki and Habib in Creators for Change.”

“Through our YouTube Creators for Change program, we will continue to support voices promoting tolerance and empathy. Iftah Ya Simsim has championed these values for decades through their iconic characters who tell stories and enjoy massive popularity among their young audience in the Arab world. We are proud to have them join us a Creator for Change partner, and we look forward to seeing the impact of our work together,” added Tarek Abdalla, Head of Google Marketing for Middle East and North Africa added.

Airing in September, 2018, Season Three’s 50-plus episodes will feature the region’s top YouTube content creators.

As part of this partnership, the content will be produced in part at the YouTube Space Dubai, which is set to open early next year. Creators of Iftah Ya Simsim will produce additional episodes that will be exclusively available on YouTube.

With the return of favorite characters Elmo, No’man, Gargur, and Shams, the latest muppet to join the Iftah Ya Simsim cast from the GCC and MENA region, the season will focus on three themes: respect for one’s self and each other, resilience through being strong and adaptable and relationships designed to encourage children’s social-emotional development by teaching them about self-esteem, embracing their identity, and being positive, proactive members of society.