Sesame Debuts 6-Year-Old Afghan Girl Muppet
Sesame Street is one of the most popular children’s television shows in Afghanistan, where the show is known as Baghch-e-Simsim. The newest member of the muppet cast is an Afghan girl named Zari who made her debut on April 7.The name “Zari” means ‘shimmering’ in the Dari and Pashto languages.
The power of potential as a role model is to reach out to children and parents where they may otherwise not have access to educational content. Zari will be promoting girls’ rights in a country that lacks them. She is modeling that going to school and dreaming of a career is a good thing, unlike the common ideology in Afghanistan that girls do not need education or a career. There is even a segment in one episode where Zari talks with a pediatrician to learn more about health and how to become a doctor. Producers of the show are also hoping Zari will also help fathers open their minds towards their daughters’ education.
“I think it’s great that kids, girls, in Afghanistan now have a role model to look up to. It’s great that it teaches them that it’s okay if they aspire to have a successful career in life. It’s a big leap forwards for gender equality in Afghanistan,” Sage Monaghan ‘16 said.
“I think that is really great that people are willing to go out of the norms and open minds. It’s a fantastic example for young girls and kids to watch so they know that they have the power to change things,” Emma Wiseman ‘18 said.
Zari will make appearances in both casual clothes and her traditional attire of a red-and-gold dress and a cream-colored hijab to model national identity for young girls.