Bridges, a current affairs program produced by SAT-7 Egypt, has been at the heart of helping viewers to understand complex situations in the Middle East and North Africa region and how they might be tackled.
Earlier this year, Syria was a main focus, producing children’s shows which featured refugees from the conflict. Program Manager George Makeen explains that two episodes, aired earlier this month, examined some underlying tensions in Iraq and the expansion of ISIS with guest Iraqi politicians and public figures.
SAT-7 is watched not only by Christians, but also by others. The channel gives the Middle Eastern and North African Church a platform to speak to other communities.
We are urging moderate Muslims – the majority in the Arab world – to see that when you let extremists eliminate one group in society, the circle does not stop there.” Makeen says, “Eventually, they will turn on other Muslims to persecute those who are different.”
Makeen stresses, “We are not only opposing persecution of Christians. Christian ethics make it a must for us to speak about injustice regardless of who the victim is.”
“Defending Christians also is critical for the future of the region as a whole,” he says. “The Middle East cannot prosper and be free without allowing diversity.”
As far as Gaza is concerned, Bridges looked first at explaining diplomatic efforts to bring about a ceasefire. Then it took on the task of confronting the dominant position in Egyptian media. This opinion being to convince citizens that Gaza is not worth worrying about because “Hamas is the one killing our army officers”. Instead, Bridges drew a line between Gaza’s political leadership and its “many innocents” who deserve justice and protection. SAT-7 CEO Dr Ascottrecently commented on the role of thousands of Christians living in Gaza.
The overall impact of such sad news from Gaza, Iraq, Libya, Egypt and, of course, Syria is that viewers lose hope and need a voice to reflect their confusion,” Makeen says.
SAT-7 seeks to point our audience to God, who is all-powerful, who feels their pain, and who is working to bring about his Kingdom even when this seems hidden from us.
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