Musical cartoon to empower Yemeni children [Archives:2008/1194/Reportage]

September 29 2008

Khalid Al-Hilaly
SANA'A, Sep 25 ) A three-part cartoon entitled Ahmed and the Three Tales, to be released at the end of September by the Shawthab Foundation for Childhood and Development, will empower children in dealing with unwanted behaviors.

The cartoon is made up of three musical sketches, each six minutes long, and aims to empower children by teaching them to recognize and protect themselves against harmful behavior towards them at home, school or in the street.

This cartoon is the third of its kind produced by the Shawthab Foundation. The last two films were Ahmed's Return, a story of a Yemeni child smuggled to Saudi Arabia to work, and Ahmed and the Game of Death which focuses on children carrying firearms. All focus on children's issues.

In Ahmed and the Three Tales, children are implicitly warned against child harassment and sexual molestation. The sketches deliver indirect instructions for children to choose their friends carefully, to be cautious when dealing with strangers and to not be afraid to report any abuse.

The cartoon was produced with the support of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) which also supported the production of 'Ahmed's Return' last year.

The script was written by Yemeni national Nader Al-Hamady and produced in Egypt.

The language of the cartoon is Modern Standard Arabic, but the Yemeni actors -both adults and children- who lend their voices to its characters give the production a local twist.

Actor Nabil Hizam described the short film as promising and a positive step towards the production of more professional Yemeni cartoons to compete in the market. “The cartoon carries moral and humanitarian lessons to both children and parents