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Monday, May 30, 2011

Open invitation to educationists – ABEGS organizes seminar to design Iftah Ya Simsim content framework

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - Monday, May 30th 2011 [ME NewsWire]

Experts in education are invited to participate in a seminar, June 4-5 in Riyadh, being organized by Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States (ABEGS) and Sesame Workshop to design the educational framework for the GCC Iftah Ya Simsim project.

Representatives from the ministries of education of ABEGS members will attend the seminar sponsored by GCC Joint Program Production Institution (GCC-JPPI) and SABIC.

The "Iftah Ya Simsim" program represents the Arab region’s first educational initiative that aims to achieve measurable educational benefits for children in the early years of school. Experts from educational institutions in the region will team up to discuss and develop a general framework for the program that reflects the needs and values ​​of learning for children today.

The invitation is open to education specialists in the disciplines of food culture, social health, child psychology, methods of modern education, education of people with special needs and general culture. Registration for the seminar can be made through

The seminar will focus on the educational needs of children in the member states, said HE Dr. Ali bin Abdalkhalq AlQarni, Director-General of ABEGS. Participants will examine the consequences of the return of Iftah Ya Simsim, and how to build a modern educational framework that provides innovative educational resources and technology to the children of today, he said.

During the seminar, the project team will meet with academics, researchers and other experts involved in education, preschool service delivery, health and social programs for children. The group will be joined by creative and cultural personalities who produce music, storybooks, and television programs for young children to discuss how the project can best convey culturally relevant messages.

Dr. Ali said ABEGS is proud to work with Sesame Workshop which has created some of the most unforgettable characters in the history of television. He hoped the collaboration would help “to develop content that will inspire our children to learn more about the world in which they live and will inherit.”

Robert Knezevic, Regional Director for International Partnerships for Sesame Workshop, said that with the media being an important and growing source for sharing information and knowledge in the region, the GCC Iftah Ya Simsim project is designed as an integrated initiative not only for television but also books, CDs, online material for children as well as outreach programs for parents and teachers.

“It is not going to be just a matter of educating children, but more about what they will learn,” Knezevic said. "We are proud of partnership with the Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States to create content appropriate for the ages of children, which will have a major positive impact on them in the region and help them reach the highest levels expected of them.”

“As a socially responsible Company, we are extremely delighted to be able to partner with the Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States (ABEGS) and extend our support to help raising scientific, moral and educational awareness among parents and children in the communities in which we operate”, said Engineer Mohammed Bin Hamad Al Mady, Vice Chairman and CEO of SABIC.

“Our Corporate Social Responsibility strategy encompasses several different programs and key messages. These are namely, Sabic’s program for Drugs prevention, Science and Technology Education, Environment Preservation and Beach Cleaning, Sustainable Management of Water and Agriculture, Anti-smoking Awareness and Safe Driving Awareness campaigns,” he further added.

With its long history of investment in natural gas resources and impressive track record of environmental responsibility, sustainability has always been at the core of SABIC’s business. Keeping in line with this commitment Al Mady said this year’s Iftah ya Simsim will highlight the importance of protecting the environment and will aim at educating children on how to be responsible towards the environment.

Abdel-Mohsen Al Bannai, CEO of the joint production program for GCC-JPPI, who produced Open Sesame programs in the Eighties, said Iftah Ya Simsim is an educational initiative and not just a television show.

He said that GCCJPPI is supporting the content seminar biased on the recondition of the ministers of Information in the GCC in their recent meeting in Kuwait to support Iftah Ya Simsim new project and its importance to our new generation in the GCC.

Dr. Abdullah Saeed Abu Ras, Director General of Gulf Radio and TV, said the ministers of culture and information of ABEGS members instructed GCC-JPPI to develop a partnership with Sesame Workshop as they were keen on media programs that impact positively on the young generation.

Feras Almaddah, GCC Media and Marketing Representative of Sesame Workshop, said educational initiatives for the new generation require mobilization of efforts.

“Education is one of the most important social responsibility programs adopted by the private sector,” Almaddah said. “Many opportunities in this regard can be found.”

Registration for the seminar can be made through


The Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States (ABEGS), located in Riyadh, is an intergovernmental regional organization that works within the seven member states, (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Yemen, Kuwait, Sultanate of Oman and Qatar). It was founded by the ministers of education in 23/10/1975 to promote cooperation and coordination in the fields of culture, education, science, information and documentation. This has been the mission of the Bureau since its establishment in 1975. The main objectives of ABEGS are to contribute to the unification of the countries and people of the region by providing collaboration among them and developing collective efforts and methods of cooperation in its areas of interest, remains as relevant and necessary as ever. Learn more at


Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization that revolutionized children’s television programming with the landmark Sesame Street. The Workshop produces local Sesame Street programs, seen in over 140 countries, and other acclaimed shows to help bridge the literacy gap including The Electric Company. Beyond television, the Workshop produces content for multiple media platforms on a wide range of issues including literacy, health and military deployment. Initiatives meet specific needs to help young children and families develop critical skills, acquire healthy habits and build emotional strength to prepare them for lifelong learning. Learn more at


Firas Almaddah

Representative of Open Sesame in the GCC

Tel: + 96626905858 - Ext 101


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