Zari, Sesame Street, Afghan girl muppet, Baghch-e-Simsim
Image appears courtesy of Sesame Workshop.

Sesame Street Unveils “Zari,” the First Afghan Girl Muppet

This past week, the Sesame Street franchise unveiled its latest character, an adorable pink muppet named Zari.  As you may have noticed, she’s sporting a hijab!
The new kid on the block is slated to make her small-screen debut on Baghch-e-Simsim (“Sesame Garden”).  This is Afghanistan’s locally produced answer to Sesame Street.
Though her debut may be small-screen, Zari is out here making major moves.  She has the noteworthy distinction of being the show’s first Afghan girl muppet.  (Say ma shaa Allah!  Break those glass ceilings, habibti!)
From the sounds of it, our girl will be serving up some serious slayage.
According to Sesame Workshop’s press release, Zari will be “featured in new, locally produced segments that focus on curriculum topics like girls’ empowerment, national identity, physical health, and social and emotional wellbeing.”

“Debuting a confident, inquisitive, and sweet Afghan girl character is a perfect opportunity to engage both boys and girls with lessons supporting girls’ empowerment and diversity appreciation as we aim to help all children in Afghanistan grow smarter, stronger, and kinder.”

— Sherrie Westin,

Executive Vice President of

Global Impact & Philanthropy,

Sesame Workshop

Zari, whose name means “shimmering,” is set to star in a few different segments, including:

  • Zari Exercises–  Zari teaches kids (and maybe even reminds a few adults) how important it is to stay healthy and active.
  • Zari Interviews a Doctor–  Zari turns her trip to the pediatrician into an interview, and discovers from Dr. Khadija what it takes to be a doctor, and listens to her own heart.
  • Zari Says “Salaam”– Our girl explains the meaning of “assalaamu alaikum,” and encourages her friends to use it when greeting each other, to show they’re happy to see one another.

Assalaamu alaikum, Zari!  We’ve gotta say, we are beyond thrilled to know you’re out there, and we’re sending salaams. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as if the American market will be seeing Zari anytime soon.  There haven’t been any announcements revealing plans to introduce Zari to audiences outside of Afghanistan as of yet, but hey, maybe one day!

Editor’s Note:  The featured image of Zari appears courtesy of Sesame Workshop.