Big Bird Battles Taliban

We can't tell you how to get to Koche Street, but we know it's in Afghanistan.

Sesame Workshop says it has begun delivering the first of 400 kits containing 10 episodes each of an Afghanistan-targeted adaptation of Alam Simson, itself an Egyptian adaptation of Sesame Street.

The Workshop says the episodes "foster awareness of other cultures, highlight opportunities for girls and women, and increase student interest in education and career opportunities." They will be distributed to schools, women's centers and orphanages, as well as in vans that will travel through the country.

"Because of the Taliban’s repressive regime, a large majority of Afghan children have little or no educational background," says Cheryl Benard, a senior political scientist with RAND.

Although the shows will also air on national and local TV, most homes do not have TV sets, and many do not even have the electricity to power them.

The kits, which also contain a teacher guidebook, a poster and school supplies, is being distributed in partnership with the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy’s Initiative for Youth in the Middle East.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.