The main Muppet characters in the Jordanian version are Juljul and Tonton. Issa Sweidan plays the lovable grandfather figure Jiddo Simsim.
The Jordanian version premiered in October 2003. A second season debuted in January 2007. The third season should begin production in 2008.
Sesame Workshop and Jordan Pioneers have joined together to create Hikayat Simsim, a multimedia project that presents messages of respect and understanding to young children in the Middle East. The Sesame Street format provides educational material that is culturally relevant to Jordanian children. The content focuses on subjects such as literacy, numeracy, health and hygiene, national identity, needs of Iraqi refugee children, mutual respect, tolerance, and understanding.
Sesame Stories (Jordan), or Hikayat Simsim in Arabic, was created, written, and produced by local educators and television professionals. The show combines segments featuring the Sesame Street Muppet characters with animation and mini-documentaries (live action films). Locally developed characters appeal to preschoolers and engage them with humor relevant to Jordanian culture. Animation and live action pieces introduce Jordanian children to positive images of themselves and others.
The project is funded in large part by project partners. Twenty-six episodes of Hikayat Simsim, co-produced by Sesame Workshop and Jordan Pioneers (Amman), aired in Jordan beginning in October 2003 on Jordan Television, Jordan’s public television station. A community outreach initiative supplements the television series. In total, two seasons equaling 56 episodes have been completed and season three will begin production in 2008.