On one day of the year, thousands of flowers and gifts exchange hands, and dimly lit restaurants are filled with couples. Valentine’s Day is when many couples celebrate their love. But for many women, relationships that are labelled as ‘loving’ are actually unhealthy or, at worst, abusive. SAT-7 ARABIC women’s programme Needle and New Thread is addressing this controversial issue. […]
Being a voice
When SAT-7 first launched in 1996, a Christian viewer in Egypt was so startled to see an Arab presenter wearing a cross on TV, he called the channel straight away. “Mish Ma’oul! This is unbelievable!” he said. For more than 21 years, SAT-7 has been committed to being a voice for Christians and for many others who often go unheard in the Middle East and North Africa.
Since those first days, SAT-7 has given the region’s Christians the ability to go out from behind church walls (the only place where many MENA states legally permit them to teach and preach) to share God’s love wherever people live and are watching.
It also enables them to speak up for the equal value of women and children in patriarchal societies, to give support to people with disabilities in countries where disability is often associated with shame, and to promote dialogue and reconciliation across divided communities.
Smyrna Khalef - presenter and psychologist
Parents sometimes don’t give children a voice to explain that ‘I need to be respected; I need to be cared for; I need to be talked to in a positive manner and I will listen.’
Shoaib, presenter of 'Secrets of Life'
“For 800 years Christianity was destroyed in Afghanistan. Now the church is growing rapidly. From a handful of Christians 20 years ago, today we have thousands. Afghanistan doesn’t permit official churches. They meet in pockets of small groups and most are under 25 years old. They are the hope of the country that they will build the church.”
Challenging stigmas and discrimination
An array of programmes for women seeks to show them their God-given value. Semsa Deniz, presenter of Homemade, says, “the correct image of a normal Christian woman does not exist in Turkey. This programme wants to show a modern but ethically strong Turkish Christian woman.” Programmes like Insiders for viewers in Iran, Needle and Thread and Start from Here for Arabic speakers do a similar job of inspiring women and grappling with the challenges they face – from pressure to marry to domestic abuse.
SAT-7 has tackled the burden of stigma attached to disability in various ways, from a game show where able and disabled children competed together through to Obstacle Overcomers, a series that counters negative stereotypes by telling the stories and achievements of individuals with a range of impairments.
Programmes like Arabic current affairs show Bridges frequently spotlight cases of discrimination and persecution of Christian believers. But the show also invites representatives of different churches and faiths and various political and civil society leaders to offer a range of perspectives so that viewers can be better informed. The SAT-7 TÜRK Haber news programme is a unique TV news service for Turkish viewers, sharing worldwide news from the Body of Christ.
Religious faith has a bad image among Iran’s young adults and it’s easy to see why. Tight restrictions and harsh penalties imposed by its clerical leaders and enforced by religious police give many a very negative impression of belief – and not just their own. According to Moe Pooladfar – producer of a new SAT-7 youth show for the Persian […]
Hard-hitting issues Ethics, good manners, respect to one another, co-existence…We need those values in the Middle East.” This was the comment from guest Paul Sayah, Archeparch of the Maronite Church and Curial Bishop of the Maronite Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch, when he shared his hope for SAT-7’s newest channel, SAT-7 ACADEMY, upon its launch in September last year. SAT-7 ACADEMY […]
“Thank you, Lord, for changing the bitterness in my life to singing.” 28-year-old Waheed Ata broke into this spontaneous and heartfelt prayer as he shared his life story with viewers of SAT-7 ARABIC’s programme, Reforming. Left blind for life after contracting meningitis as a baby, Waheed – like so many others with a disability in the Middle East and North […]
I first met Abou Younes* when he came along to the Life Center Beirut looking for help with food. His journey to Beirut had begun with a harrowing escape from Daesh/Islamic State and involved selling the last of his possessions to pay a smuggler to take his large family across the Syrian border into Lebanon. They just had the […]
Inner and outer beauty A recent episode of SAT-7 ARABIC show Needle and New Thread shared a Christian attitude to beauty from a somewhat surprising source. Sandra Saeed, crowned Miss Egypt International 2016, appeared on the popular women’s talk show to discuss the topic of inner and outer beauty. “Some people get their value from relationships, the car they drive, […]
SAT-7 airs prayers for peace in city that became synonymous with cruelty and death In early December, Middle East Christian broadcaster SAT-7 and associate ministry Light for All Nations (LFAN) Ministries filmed the first on-the-ground footage in Raqqa, Syria since so-called Islamic State militants left. The two networks co-produced the documentary, Al Raqqa: between Yesterday and Today, presenting a message […]
On a recent trip to Lebanon, Katerina Parpa, a member of SAT-7’s international Communications team, visited a learning centre that uses SAT-7 ACADEMY’s educational programmes to help refugee children thrive. Here she reflects on the experience and the heart-warming moments she shared with the Syrian and Iraqi children. “Merhaba!” (“Hello!”) said a little Syrian girl dressed in a red hoody. […]
For many girls across the Middle East and North Africa, rejection and discrimination are a daily reality. Widely considered of lower status and value than their brothers, their education and opportunities are limited, and their experience of injustice and abuse all too frequent. The season of Advent resounds with the song of Mary, Jesus’s mother, herself a young woman who […]