SAT-7 Egypt Director sees impact of “Resistance through forgiveness”
The videos of a ten-year-old Iraqi displaced by IS (Islamic State) and of a brother of two Egyptian labourers beheaded in Libya both voicing forgiveness for their persecutors have been watched by a million viewers and drawn the attention of mainstream Arab media which rarely covers Christian news.
Under the title “Iraqi Girl Myriam Faces ISIS with Love”, pan-Arab broadcaster Al Arabiya told how the clip of young refugee Myriam had spread via social media and was impressing ordinary viewers and media commentators.
A columnist in Lebanese newspaper Al Nahar said the SAT-7 interview with her “should be presented in Lebanese schools as a lesson in humanity”.
The massive interest in these clips shows the impact of “resisting violence through forgiveness”, said Farid Samir, Egypt director of Christian satellite channel SAT-7 which made both clips.
The clip showed Myriam saying she “will ask God to forgive IS” and singing a worship song. It reached over 1 million people and was watched by over 200,000 within 42 hours of appearing on the SAT-7 ARABIC Facebook page. Since then it has been seen by almost half a million viewers on SAT-7 web and social media pages alone.
The clip in which Egyptian Christian Beshir Kamel called a SAT-7 worship programme and asked God to “open the eyes” of his brothers’ killers was watched by at least half a million people in the first week and shared on news sites around the world.
Farid Samir, said, “These clips provide a counter-shock to the horrifying videos of killings that people receive on mainstream media and to their effect on viewers. Myriam’s and Beshir’s calls are a form of resistance through forgiveness. Forgiveness is the core of the Christian message and the core of the message of SAT-7 at a time when mainstream media avoids reporting on Christians.”
SAT-7 UK Director Rachel Fadipe added, “In a climate in which world media has highlighted IS’ use of social media to recruit people set on violence and to document acts intended to spread terror, the SAT-7 clips spread a radically different message.”
SAT-7 KIDS filmed Myriam when Essam Nagy, presenter of children’s show Why is That? visited Erbil, northern Iraq, in December to interview refugee children who had fled the terror of IS.
A week ago (27 February) the Why is That? show caught up with Myriam by calling her live during the programme. She told Essam
how happy and impressed she was to see her clip and sang another song over the phone during the show. Myriam’s father praised Why is That? as a programme that teaches love and forgiveness.
Essam said, “I think we are witness God’s hand moving” and said he was thrilled that social media is continuing to “deliver the voice of these children to the whole world”.