Popular live programmes from Egypt are returning to screen this month after a six-month hiatus following the seizure of SAT-7 equipment by the country’s censorship police in October.
It was an extremely difficult period for SAT-7’s staff in Egypt as their production activities were severely limited and there was great uncertainty about the future of the studio.
But now that the confiscated equipment has been returned and the charges against SAT-7 Egypt director Farid Samir dropped , live broadcasts are resuming.
A new series of popular children’s show Why is That? started on 1 April. Producer and presenter Essam Nagy (“Mr Know”) said, “We were sure that God will make a way, and we are witnessing so right now.”
“Finally I can call you…”
Over the last six months, the team continued to meet together, praying and planning for the new series, while the programme’s dedicated young audience enjoyed reruns of previous episodes.
They are delighted that Why is That? is now back live on SAT-7. A young viewer named Enjy said: “I missed the programme so much… Finally I can call you on air after the pause. I feel so comfortable with God and I trust Him. Whatever I ask of Him, He does it.”
A mother from Egypt wrote: “Mr Know has finally returned again… Welcome back! My son Vladimir will be so happy. By the way, four months ago, God gave him a sister name Verena. Pray for them, that they will grow up in the fear of the Lord.”
“Why has God left us?”
Live calls and messages from viewers are a key part of Why is That?, which, as the title suggests, encourages youngsters to ask questions about all kinds of subjects, from everyday life issues and the world around them, to God and the Bible.
The impact on the children of the turmoil in the region is evident in the questions they are now asking. Essam said:“Before the Arab Spring in 2011, we would get questions like, ‘Why is the sky blue?’ The children are now asking completely different questions like, ‘Why has God left us?’, ‘Why doesn’t God help us?’”
Learning how to hear God’s voice
It is fitting then that throughout April, Why is That? is covering the topic of prayer. The children are learning about how to talk with the Lord, that their prayers are powerful, and how to hear His voice.
The first episode on 1 April coincided with Orphans’ Day in Egypt; viewers learned that God is our Father and Maker. The key Bible verse was Isaiah 64:8, “Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
Essam said he hopes that the show will be able to minister to children in remote villages by travelling outside Cairo, and even outside Egypt, to film new episodes, adding, “Please unite with us in prayer so God would provide us with necessary resources for new ideas to be produced.”