Meet Zari, Sesame Street's first Afghan Muppet


Sesame Street has unveiled its first Afghan Muppet, calling her a "powerful role model".

Muppet Zari, whose name means "shimmering", is described as "a curious and eager six-year-old girl".

She will make her debut in season five of the Afghan version of the show, Baghch-e-Simsim (Sesame Garden), which is broadcast on the Moby Group's Tolo TV and Lemar TV.

Muppet Zari shoots one of her first scenes
Zari shoots one of her first scenes (Rahmat Gul/AP/PA)

The 26 new 25-minute episodes will still feature locally produced, live action films about traditions, culture, and other aspects of Afghanistan's urban and rural life.

Zari will be seen in locally produced segments focusing on girls' empowerment, national identity, physical health and social and emotional well-being.

The Muppet will speak directly to viewers, interact with children in person, and interview a variety of Afghan professionals.

Zari interacting with a young child
Zari (Rahmat Gul/AP/PA)

One feature will see Zari interview a doctor during her check-up. She will talk to her paediatrician, Dr Khadija, about her health, hear what her own heart sounds like and learn what it takes to become a doctor.

Segments from other Sesame co-productions, adapted and dubbed into Dari and Pashto, will continue to introduce children to Muppet friends from series in Egypt, Bangladesh, Mexico and Russia.

Baghch-e-Simsim is one of the most popular children's television shows in Afghanistan.