Alam Simsim

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Alam Simsim
Country of originEgypt
Original languageArabic
Running time30 minutes
Production companiesAl Karma Edutainment
Sesame Workshop
Picture formatPAL
Original releaseMarch 2000 (2000-03) –
May 2017 (2017-05)

Alam Simsim (Arabic: عالم سمسم) is an Arabic language Egyptian-made adaptation of the format used in the children's television series Sesame Street. Alam Simsim is Arabic for "Sesame World".

The show, funded by the U.S. Government's U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is a cooperative project between Egypt's Al Karma Edutainment and the USA's Sesame Workshop (formerly Children's Television Workshop). This effort is one of several such cooperative projects funded by USAID in countries such as Russia and South Africa.

The show debuted in 2000, and now has more than 240 episodes.

Satellite broadcaster Future Television of Lebanon picked up the show in November 2005, expanding possible viewership to more than 200 million viewers in the Arab States.

The show is set in the imaginary Alam Simsim (Sesame World) neighborhood in Egypt. This area is Medieval-looking like Old Cairo except perhaps more rural and green. It consists of a small public square surrounded by a park; a store owned by 'Am Gherghis; the carpenter's shop owned by 'Am Hussein with apartments above occupied by 'Am Hussein's family, 'Ama Kheireya his wife, Mona his teenage daughter and Kareem his young son. A bookstore or library (the same word is used for both in Arabic so it is hard to tell which is intended) is run by a young woman named Nabila.[1] The humans are referred to as 'Am and 'Ama, which are "Uncle" and "Aunt" in Egyptian Arabic. These titles denote familiarity common in Egyptian neighborhoods.[2]


The show also includes three main Muppet characters who interact with the humans in the neighborhood just as they do on the original American program. Nimnim (tiny) is a large green furry creature who wears a cap from upper Egypt and a patterned vest. He is a somewhat gentle and naive creature who enjoys gardening. Khokha (peach) is a furry pinkish orange colored monster with long black hair. She is a very inquisitive, imaginative and confident character whose main message is to encourage young girls. Filfil (pepper) is a bearded furry purple monster who often gets carried away with himself. He is a bit egotistical and loves to eat honey-sesame sticks.[2][3]

Alam Simsim reuses many of the sketches from other versions of Sesame Street, dubbed into Egyptian Arabic. Some of these include segments using American Muppets, however some names are changed. Ernie and Bert are known as Shadi and Hadi, Elmo is called Tohfa (antique), Telly Monster is named Mosaad while Grover is Jafaar. Kermit is simply called Kermit.[4]


  1. ^ "Al-Ahram Weekly | Living | Open Sesame". Archived from the original on March 17, 2007. Retrieved March 27, 2007.
  2. ^ a b "Future TV". Archived from the original on July 21, 2006. Retrieved August 13, 2006.
  3. ^ "Co-Production Home - Egypt". Archived from the original on May 2, 2007. Retrieved March 27, 2007.
  4. ^ "Sesame Workshop". Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved March 27, 2007.

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