SAT-7 was awarded the International Media award at the NRB (National Religious Broadcasters) Christian Media Convention in Dallas, Texas this week. SAT-7 CEO Rita El-Mounayer and Founder and President Dr. Terence Ascott were present at the conference, where El-Mounayer movingly dedicated the award to the Middle Eastern believers who make and watch SAT-7’s programs.
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.”
– Rita El-Mounayer, SAT-7 CEO
Ms. El-Mounayer’s dedication received a standing ovation from the audience of Christians from the United States and around the world.
“The biggest problem in the Middle East today is not war. 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 programs, 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,” Ms. El-Mounayer shared in her speech.
Thanking the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) for the honor of the award, which was presented by veteran Christian broadcaster Dr. Ron Harris and Jeffrey Anderson, Ms. El-Mounayer later shared the importance of the award to SAT-7 and her personally.
“It is great to be here and to see people who are really interested to know more about the Middle East and North Africa, to know more about the Church, and to know about what SAT-7 is doing and the new initiatives we are undertaking. It blesses my heart when I see people who live in a country like the United States, who really want to know what is happening; who want to help, support, and partner. It’s a big encouragement for me, and for the team, to see people who care.”
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. Recalling how she visited a Yazidi refugee camp after the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) rampaged through the region, Ms. El-Mounayer 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 (SAT-7 PLUS) and increased emphasis on social media production, while maintaining its crucial satellite witness.
Top picture: Rita El-Mounayer with Jeffrey Anderson and Dr. Ron Harris