Yesterday afternoon we heard the wonderful news that all the equipment confiscated by the authorities in October from our Egypt Office was returned. We know many people worldwide have been praying for this moment and for the staff in Egypt. Thank you for all your support in prayer during this difficult period. Please join us and the Arabic teams in giving thanks for His goodness in this happy turn of events! More news to follow.
20 November 2015
Thank you for your prayers and messages of support for SAT-7’s team in Egypt following the action by the Censorship Police on 10 October. While our ARABIC and KIDS channels are able to screen programmes made in our Lebanon studio and those by our partner producers as normal, SAT-7 Egypt’s output has been severely restricted.
SAT-7 UK Executive Director Rachel Fadipe provides the following update.
The situation facing our Egypt studio remains a matter of great concern and your ongoing prayers are much needed. We are still waiting to hear from Egypt’s Public Prosecutor if the case will go to court or be dismissed. Foreign diplomats and parliamentarians who know and are supportive of SAT-7 have raised the issue with the Egyptian authorities, at the highest level.
In the meantime, SAT-7 Egypt’s normal activities remain severely disrupted. There are no live shows running and very few programmes are being recorded.
Police have kept custody of confiscated equipment worth more than £65,000 and we do not know when – or even if – it will be returned. This includes video cameras, studio lights and all the computers used for editing.
SAT-7 Egypt Director Farid Samir (below) was temporarily detained, then released, but potentially still faces charges associated with seemingly baseless licensing issues. Last week I had the great pleasure to see Farid in person at SAT-7’s international meetings in Cyprus. He was able to testify to the grace and provision of God through his ordeal. I was very moved by a conversation he recounted between himself and his 10-year-old daughter shortly after his arrest. Farid said:
“I called my wife to let her know that I’m OK. She said, ‘We’re praying for you’, then she passed the phone to my daughter, who said, ‘We’re praying for you daddy and we want to give you this verse from Joshua 1:9: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”‘
“It was very good timing. When I was taken to the jail I suddenly found that I had nothing; no phone, no Bible, no Internet, no TV. I started to miss my Bible; I was trying to remember verses, and this verse from my daughter was like a message from God. It meant a lot to me.”
There have been other encouragements in the midst of this distressing situation, not least the support and solidarity shown by SAT-7’s staff and viewers.
It was very humbling to hear that SAT-7 staff in Egypt, who work extremely hard for below-market wages, have started a collection to help cover legal expenses for the studio and for Farid. One man even donated his monthly mortgage payment! They have so far raised £2,600.
The audience in Egypt have continued to send messages of support via social media. To show their solidarity, many viewers have changed their Facebook profile pictures to the SAT-7 logo. If you would like to show your support for SAT-7 in this way, download our logo here.
Please continue to uphold Farid and his family at this stressful time. Pray also that this matter will be dropped and that all the confiscated equipment will be returned quickly.