As Tunisia prepares to mark the tenth anniversary of the start of its “Jasmine Revolution” on 17 December, Christian broadcaster SAT-7 announced the first TV programmes it has made in this North African country.
Christmas from Tunisia and a discussion show entitled Standard Talk will be the first productions made by Perpetua, a new Christian production team in Tunis that SAT-7 has equipped and supported.
George Makeen, SAT-7 Arabic Channels International Director, says the Tunisian team is significant in several ways:
“It is exciting to see a small but active Tunisian Church of believers from non-Christian backgrounds, eager to go on screen and communicate with their society. And they come with the passion to produce programmes in different genres and to build capacity for the future. They are ambitious and optimistic!”
A model for others
“Tunisia is seen as a model by many in the Arab world,” Makeen adds. “Firstly because, since its uprising, Tunisia has seen a peaceful transition to a multi-party democracy. Tunisia is also more tolerant of freedom of expression and more empowering of women than elsewhere. Christians coming from this culture can inspire the rest of the Arab world through their messages and faith.”
The Tunisian team took its company name, Perpetua, from one of the first North African Christian martyrs, who died in Carthage in the 3rd century. Working with freelance media professionals, they shot Christmas in Tunisia on location. The programme examines the Christian meanings behind the cultural expressions of Christmas in the country, such as decorations and the exchange of gifts.
Standard Talk will air in the new year and address Christian understandings of topics ranging from knowing God to family life.
Both programmes will go out on the SAT-7 ARABIC TV channel alongside the extensive range of live and recorded programmes SAT-7 makes in Egypt and Lebanon, a growing number of broadcasts from Algeria, and other shows commissioned from Christian partners around the Arab world.
COVID restrictions are placing filming constraints in parts of the region this year. However, SAT-7 ARABIC has already filmed some Christmas highlights. These include two special worship concerts with Evangelical church and Coptic Orthodox choirs in Assuit, Upper Egypt, an oriental jazz concert, and a special Christmas programme from Algeria. Live services will also be broadcast from leading churches in Beirut and Cairo.
Read a SAT-7 staff member’s report on a visit to Tunisia that highlights the situation of women and of the country’s emerging churches