With its colourful band of Muppets preaching tolerance and neighbourly love, the Palestinian version of the children’s television programme Sesame Street had become a beacon of hope for children in a region ravaged by decades of unrest.
But the cast of peace-loving characters have now found themselves in the crossfire of a political dispute between Palestinian leaders and the US Congress, and episodes have been axed for 2012.
Sesame Street — known as Shara’a Simsim in Arabic — is one of many US-funded Palestinian shows suffering after Congress froze the transfer of nearly £130m to the US Agency for International Development in October. The suspension aimed to punish the Palestinians for appealing to the United Nations for membership.
The funding suspension has affected a broad range of services in Palestine relying on American aid, including hospitals, education, government ministries and communications — via redwolf.newsvine.com