BRUSSELS - The European Commission on Monday unveiled a special pro-Middle East peace version of the popular U.S. children's television series "Sesame Street" for broadcast in Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian territories.
Officials said "Sesame Stories", produced by Sesame Workshop, a nonprofit educational organization with the help of a 2.5 million euro (about $2.8 million) European Union grant, will use the popular "Sesame Street" format of animated puppets to help spread a message of peace and tolerance among Palestinian, Israeli and Jordanian children.
A total of seventy-eight stories designed to entertain 4 to 7-year old children have been co-produced by Palestinians, Israelis and Jordanians in consultation with the Sesame Workshop, producers of the popular American series.
Themes dealt with in the Middle East version include acceptance, empathy and appreciating similarities and differences, the Commission said, adding that the programs had been produced after close consultation with educational advisors and child psychologists.
"Working with children today will help build peace tomorrow," said Michael Leigh, the Commission's Middle East deputy director.
"Sesame Stories strives to counter the negative images that children see on television every day and to offer hope for a better world," added Gary E. Knell, president of Sesame Workshop.
Sesame Stories will be broadcast on Israel's HOP! TV, Jordanian JRTV, and the Palestinian Ma'an Network, in the coming weeks.