Aamina Sheikh, Ahsan Khan move forward to educate isolated kids online!
The whole country is currently going through a rough period where people are restricted inside their homes, due to the Lockdown by the Government.
They can only go outside once in two days (in Sindh) that too while wearing masks and carrying a sanitiser. As for kids, they are either glued to Television or Streaming Applications, as they can’t go out to play or meet friends. In such depressing conditions, a few celebrities have come forward with innovative ideas to keep your children busy, and they are taking over the internet.
Leading actors Ahsan Khan, Aamina Sheikh, and Sarwat Gillani proved that you can be a celebrity and a good parent if you spend time with them.
While Ahsan Khan’s only video with his kids reading Islamic Stories became viral, Aamina Sheikh’s YouTube channel ‘Meissa Mama’ nearly crossed 2.75K subscribers in no time.
The actress and her daughter Meissa have a conversation in these videos in which the mother reads stories in Urdu, and the daughter tells her what is happening in the illustrations, sometimes in Urdu and sometimes in English, which is then explained by ‘Meissa Mama’ in Urdu. We spoke to both Aamina Sheikh and Ahsan Khan and asked them what made them go for children’s education and how they plan to develop their idea.
Aamina, what made you go for a Kids YouTube channel ‘Meissa Mama’ in the first place?
In the current times of Corona, with children out of schools and at home, with working mothers and fathers now asked to work from home, and people practicing social distancing in lockdown, there was hardly anything in the Urdu language online to keep children busy. That’s where Meissa Mama came in; it’s an Edu-tainment platform designed to build community through progressive and entertaining content for children, and parents globally.
Here, we focus on providing edu-taining content and resources for home learning for children, caregivers and their parents with a whole lot of love, with specific emphasis on the Urdu language!
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We are now on the world wide web 🤗 . . Log on to www.meissamama.com and SUBSCRIBE to be the first to know whats coming next ! . . MeissaMama is going to be an all inclusive comprehensive Edu-tainment & E-commerce platform for children and adults alike, not just in the times of corona/ covid-19, but in all times to come, inshAllah. . . Learning Urdu will be one leg of the platform being developed extensively now to make Urdu easy, fun, and entertaining to our children and families globally. As this branch grows we will develop other avenues within MeissaMama which will cater to providing wholesome and unique interactive edu-taining resources for children and adults alike . . I am so excited and looking forward to the growth of MeissaMama and giving wings to all the exceptional ideas already in the pipeline as we put it all together piece by piece to educate, entertain, and enrich the daily lives of our stakeholders all over the world ! . I give you www.meissamama.com With Love, Aamina . . #edutainment #children #childrenscontent #childrenstories #storytime #storytimeforkids #urdu #bachonkikahaniyaan #urdukahaniyan #urduforkids #urdustories #family #familytime #distantlearning #elearning #homelearning #homeschooling #meissamama #aaminasheikh
Describe your channel in one sentence, so that those who have no clue, get the idea?
For starters, we are doing daily uploads of Urdu storytelling for kids! It’s full of fun, joy, laughter, gentle lessons to be learned rather lovingly and most importantly it focuses on the understanding of the Urdu language – the preservation of which is essential in our community and to play our part in the contribution to sustaining world languages by teaching our children our mother tongue.
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آج کی اردو کہانی بچوں کے لئے، میساماما کے تمام سوشل میڈیا چینلز پر دستیاب ہے! ان کے لنکس یہ ہیں . . >Youtube/MeissaMama > facebook.com/meissamama > IG: @meissamama . . محضوظ رہیں اور رابطے میں بھی! بہت پیار آمنہ شیخ . . #edutainment #children #childrenscontent #childrenstories #storytime #storytimeforkids #urdu #bachonkikahaniyaan #urdukahaniyan #urduforkids #urdustories #family #familytime #distantlearning #elearning #homelearning #homeschooling #meissamama #aaminasheikh
And then there is Ahsan Khan who had previously worked in an animated film Tick Tock for kids a couple of years back and has been pressing for more such content on our TV channels. The manner in which he has been hosting Knorr Noodles Boriyat Busters on TV for a couple of seasons makes him the young audience’s favorite host. Add to that his association with Children’s Literature Festival (CLF) and it comes as no surprise that he was amongst the first few celebrities to come up with a video that went viral for many reasons.
The first being the content that was related to Islamic History, something we don’t teach our kids these days, and the second being the way his own sons answered his questions. When asked what made Ahsan go for a video with his own kids, the Udaari actor had a lot to say.
What made you for a video targeting the younger audience in the first place, Ahsan?
Interaction with kids should be the most important part of any parents’ daily routine but unfortunately, many parents don’t get that kind of time because of their busy schedule. With the whole family confined at home due to Corona, people have suddenly found leisure time on their hands, which they spend watching TV or surfing the internet.
My own kids couldn’t go out due to Lockdown but they had books at home that kept them busy. I have been a firm believer in teaching your kids yourself and that’s why we share a friendly bond. During Corona Lockdown, when we were reading a book and discussing it, that gave me the idea of not limiting the discussion to just us, but to all the kids out there. I had some idea that my video will reach other kids but it will become so viral, that was a pleasant surprise, and I am thankful to all for watching it.
The next step would be to come up with similar stuff that teaches my kids and others like them out there something that they don’t know through fun facts about animals, things, places besides Islamic stories from history. I just don’t want to limit it to YouTube, it should be free for all to put on their own FB and Instagram pages so it reaches out more and more people. It’s very important for us to focus on something that is teaching them something like general knowledge, ethics, and moralistic stuff from our rich history.
How do you plan to take the initiative forward, Ahsan?
I have been approached by a couple of TV channels as well to make it a regular thing so I am just analyzing what to do. We live in a fast pace world where fathers work their hearts out for the family, and most mothers manage their kids’ like superhumans. We need to spend a little amount of time with our kids as they need us more than anything while growing up. If I manage to make a few parents realize the importance of that, I would achieve a lot because that would help in the development of both the parents and the kids. If it takes my kids to make them realize that, I am all for it!
Aamina Sheikh concluded the discussion by announcing the launch of her Meissa Mama website (www.meissamama.com) and how she wants to take it forward.
Although the current situation propelled me to take action by launching Meissa Mama and bring forward our launch plans, the actual ideas & plans have been brewing for quite some time now. Having traveled the world very extensively with my little one since her birth, while fulfilling her growing developmental needs wherever I went, I was continuously being exposed and enlightened to a variety of learning methodologies out there.
Combining it with my own background in creative arts, entertainment, and the social experience took on a whole other dimension, as well as a growth spurt, so-to-speak, which played a key role in developing my own ways of home learning that worked wonderfully for us.
Hence, although because of the current times and needs, we kick-started this initiative with Urdu Storytelling, one of our strengths, as we believe in all the values attached to it. Meissa Mama is going to be an all-inclusive comprehensive Edu-tainment & e-commerce platform for children and adults alike at all times. Learning Urdu will be only one leg of the platform developed extensively to make Urdu easy, fun, and entertaining to our children and families globally.
As this branch grows we will develop other avenues within Meissa Mama which will cater to providing wholesome and unique interactive edu-taining resources for children and adults alike. My team & I look forward to developing that further and giving wings to all the exceptional ideas already in the pipeline as we put it all together piece by piece to educate, entertain, and enrich the daily lives of our stakeholders all over the world!