28 June 2021
SAT-7 was awarded the International Media award at the NRB (National Religious Broadcasters) Christian Media Convention in Dallas, Texas last week. SAT-7 CEO Rita El-Mounayer and Founder and President Dr Terence Ascott were present at the conference, where Ms El-Mounayer movingly dedicated the award to the Middle Eastern believers who make and watch SAT-7’s programmes.
“I want to dedicate this award to the Christians of the Middle East and North Africa. To you, the Church who persevered, who preserved the faith for 2,000 years despite persecution and pain – in countries like Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and others – so we can have the faith today,” Ms El-Mounayer said.
Her tribute to believers in the region where Christianity originated received a standing ovation from an audience gathered from the United States and around the world.
“The biggest problem in the Middle East today is not war,” Ms El-Mounayer told delegates. “It is not conflict. It is not the politics. It is hopelessness. People have lost hope. They have lost hope in leaders. They have lost hope for education. They have lost hope for the future. And maybe they have even lost hope in God.
“We address all this in our programmes, and we offer people hope; the true hope they deserve. And we pray this hope will be transformed into faith – a faith that will transform the Middle East for the better.”
Sharing what it means to be a Christian in the region today, Ms El-Mounayer asked for prayer for believers there, especially those who are isolated and persecuted, and for the region’s children.
Ms El-Mounayer recalled her visit to a Yazidi refugee camp after the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) rampaged through Iraq. She shared how she met Yazidi children who knew SAT-7 KIDS and could sing the words to the hymn “Jesus Loves Me” because they had learned it from the children’s channel.
“This is the hope and the future that will change the Middle East,” she said.
Ms El-Mounayer also gave a press conference in which she shared about the future of media in the Middle East and how SAT-7 is pressing forward with its new video-on-demand platform and increased emphasis on social media production, while maintaining its crucial satellite witness.
After joining SAT-7 in 1996 as a producer and presenter , Lebanon-born Rita El-Mounayer served in various director roles before becoming SAT-7 International Chief Executive Officer in April 2019.