Amid all the crises that the Arab World has recently passed through, SAT-7 ARABIC’s weekly program You Are Not Alone has been a voice for those affected and a place to find hope and feel God’s presence.
“Even though the people on the program are suffering and often living in bad conditions, they are able to transmit to viewers a message of hope and peace. This has always encouraged and touched me,” says Sirene Semerdjian, presenter of the program.
You Are Not Alone has now been sharing this message of hope for more than two years. The program began in 2020 as part of SAT-7’s COVID-19 response. But multilayered crises have continued to hit Lebanon, and economic struggle and growing inequality continue to affect the whole region, with a recent report by ESCWA predicting an additional 10.9 million people will fall into poverty by 2023. The program has continued through these struggles to speak out and to bring people together in faith and peace.
Beginning with the Beirut blast of August 2020, the program has also been able to respond quickly to breaking news incidents, allowing people to share their suffering and feel heard. “The families of the victims of [the] Beirut blast came with a desire to be healed in the exact place of the blast,” says Sirene, describing a special episode marking one year since the blast. “Their tears, their smiles, and their faith; this all moved me. I cannot forget this day.”
From then on, the program has shown Christian care to people suffering across the Middle East and North Africa, from famine in Yemen, to floods in Sudan, to the conflict in the Holy Land in 2021. Whatever has happened, the program always reminds people to listen to God’s voice and that we can give Him our lives and lean on Him.
Warning: The following video contains content some viewers may find distressing.
In addition to being a source of hope in times of distress, You Are Not Alone is also making stories of success heard, so that people might be encouraged. This includes the stories of women across the Arab World. Sirene tells all women watching at home that no matter what they are facing, to always remember they are not alone.
“I’m happy that over the two years, we have been able to cover many cases and different events happening in the world,” says Sirene. She adds that the program has achieved trust with people, and many contact them to share their stories, and this encourages them to continue moving forward and remain a shoulder of help to suffering people. “I always say that if we were able to help even one person through our episodes, and show them that they are not alone, I believe that is success,” continues Sirene.
Over the years, the many who have been given a voice have included survivors of domestic violence, a mother separated from her children, refugees who escaped Syria and Ukraine, and children who witnessed violence in the streets of Beirut. In one memorable episode, the program enabled a refugee baby without access to healthcare to receive a life-saving operation.
Please join us in giving thanks for the impact of You are Not Alone and in praying for God’s comfort and nearness for all who continue to suffer in the region today.