“Today anyone who wishes to combat lies and ignorance and to write the truth must overcome at least five difficulties. He must have the courage to write the truth when truth is everywhere opposed; the keenness to recognize it, although it is everywhere concealed; the skill to manipulate it as a weapon; the judgment to select those in whose hands it will be effective; and the cunning to spread the truth among such persons. These are formidable problems for writers living under fascism, but they exist also for those writers who have fled or been exiled; they exist even for writers working in countries where civil liberty prevails.” — Bertolt Brecht
I quote Brecht because the only real weapon to changing a people’s view is what is taught to their children. Why did Moses spend 40-years in the desert? Because that’s how long it takes for a generation to change and the old views to become new. the Huffington Post report about one of the longest lasting television shows that have helped shape young minds, Sesame Street, and how they are reaching out to change the minds of Afghani families. Real revolution is a slow process, any adult can quote slogans but it takes children to see a new possible world:
SESAME STREET UNVEILED A FRESH FACE
THURSDAY: A HIJAB-WEARING AFGHANI MUPPET NAMED ZARI WHO WILL TEACH
KIDS ABOUT “GIRL EMPOWERMENT, SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING.”
Zari is a six-year-old girl from Afghanistan who loves spiking a volleyball, swinging a cricket bat, and teaching her friends how to say “asalaam alaikum” — a greeting that means “peace be upon you.”
And now, the new “Sesame Street” character hopes to empower young women.
The Sesame Workshop announced Thursday that Zari, whose name translates to “shimmering” in English, would feature in the fifth season of “Baghch-e Simsim,” an Afghan edition of the popular children’s show.
The character will appear in several segments that focus on themes such as empowerment, fitness, and national identity.
Segments planned for the Muppet include “Zari Exercises,” in which she teaches kids how to stretch; “Zari Says ‘Salaam,’” in which she talks about the meaning of the greeting; and “Zari Interviews a Doctor,” in which she finds out what her heartbeat sounds like.
In a country where women were until recently almost completely excluded from schooling, Zari will target young girls and entrenched traditional attitudes towards women’s education and careers. Producers of the show have also teamed up with the country’s Ministry of Education in a bid to reduce any cultural resistance to the character.
Zari follows female Muppets like Chamki in India and Kami in South Africa who play a key role as feminist role models in locally produced Sesame Street co-productions around the world.