Afghani Children Draw Their Vision of Baghch-e-Simsim, Their Radio Version of Sesame Street

Baghchi Simsim

Drawing by Nazifa and Shafiq, children in the Nanagar province of Afghanistan.

In Afghanistan many homes don’t have television, so Sesame Workshop provided Afghani children a a radio broadcast of Baghch-e-Simsim, their version of Sesame Street. Since the children cannot see the characters, they can only imagine what they look like, and periodically, they send in drawings of what their imaginations are seeing. Sesame Workshop has more of these delightful drawings at their site, which were sent to them by Equal Access, their Afghanistan-based radio production partner.

…the radio broadcast allows us to ensure that lessons about literacy, numeracy and cultural understanding reach as many children in the country as possible.

In the United States, when we mention iconic Sesame Street Muppets like Cookie Monster, Bert and Ernie, images of the characters immediately come to mind. But for the children whose only contact with the characters is the Baghch-e-Simsim radio program, they have to imagine what the characters look like. Periodically, around special events like festivals or the New Year, Afghan children send in drawings of Baghch-e-Simsim to the radio stations it airs on and we get a chance to see how their imaginations have brought the show to life…


Afghan children in Herat province listen to Baghch-e-Simsim with their mothers.

by Muhammad Imran

A drawing of the classic Sesame Street characters by Muhammad Imran, a child in Kapisa, Afghanistan.

Sesame Workshop blog

via Sesame Workshop blog

Rusty Blazenhoff
Rusty Blazenhoff