ENVISION 2016 Contributors
Terence Ascott – SAT-7 CEO, has lived in the Middle East and served as the leader for indigenous media ministries for almost 40 years.
In 1973 Terry moved to Beirut, Lebanon and worked to launch an Arabic Christian publishing ministry. After the start of the Lebanese Civil War, Terry and his family evacuated to Egypt. In Egypt, Terry launched an Arabic youth magazine called “Huwa wa Hiya”. This was the first Christian magazine to be successfully distributed on Arab newsstands across the region. It was published for 25 years.
While working on the magazine, Terry’s ministry became involved in other media projects including video production. In 1995 he, along with Middle Eastern Christian leaders and around twenty partner organizations working in the region, launched SAT-7, the first Arabic Christian satellite television channel. The channel was a pioneer in many areas, breaking ground for other ministries to follow. In the years since its launch, SAT-7 has grown from a two-hour a week broadcast, to a network of four 24-hour channels: SAT-7 ARABIC and SAT-7 PLUS (Arabic Christian programming for every age group), SAT-7 KIDS (the first and currently the only Arabic Christian channel for children) and SAT-7 PARS (“Persian”, a 24 hour channel in Farsi/Persian, with two hours a day in Turkish—SAT-7 TÜRK).
SAT-7 currently has more than 150 employees, mostly Middle Eastern nationals, who work in its offices and studios in Egypt, Lebanon, Cyprus, Turkey and the UK.
Terry holds a first class B.Sc. in Civil Engineering, and in December 2011, was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Christian Ministries degree from Belhaven University, USA “for extraordinary work and achievements in promoting Christianity throughout the Middle East and North Africa.”
Rita Elmounayer – If you know SAT-7 you know Rita. She’s a spiritually motivated talent who’s everywhere at once, yet wonders at how God is using her in Christian ministry.
Rita is the Executive Director of both SAT-7 ARABIC and SAT-7 KIDS channels. She’s a member of the leadership team, directs a dispersed staff, travels extensively, and still manages to record the highly popular “Bedtime Stories With Rita.” But fifteen years ago she was a new hire fresh from Christian radio who suddenly found herself in front of a camera in SAT-7’s first program. She said, “I was scared and I didn’t know how the Lord could use this broken person to minister to others. But SAT-7 invested in me and God blessed.”
Born and raised in Lebanon during decades-long military conflict, Rita and her sister lost their mother while they were little girls. Their father protected them well but was often pulled away into military service. “My sister and I were so tired of the bombs and rifle fire and spent much of our childhood in shelters,” Rita remembered. “To distract us our father hooked a small black and white TV to a car battery and turned up the sound. The louder the bombs, the louder the TV.” This poignant memory remains today.
“Because of this, my sister and I were both drawn to television. It played such a powerful role in our lives. Now we want to use television to provide a message of hope and love and salvation to Arab children who’re growing up with many of the same conditions and fears we faced.”
Rita notes there are 100 million children in the Middle East and North Africa under the age of 15—some 60% of the population is under 25 years. “These young people, these kids,” she says, “they are the future of the Middle East. They can come to know Christ, they can be television producers and leaders of their countries tomorrow.”
Rita committed her life to Christ at age 15 and later earned a Masters in Communications Practices from the University of Wales. Her preparation, professionalism, and passion make Rita an influential leader in Middle East broadcast ministry.
Rita’s SAT-7 workload is significant. She makes programming decisions, works with staff members in Lebanon, Egypt, and Cyprus, answers hundreds of emails, manages a budget, and regularly appears on-air.
Other conference contributors include:
- SAT-7 staff including:
- Key local leaders
- TV producers
- Audience relations coordinators
- Operations and administrative personnel
- A worship team organised by the SAT-7 PARS studio in London