ARAB CELEBRITIES SUPPORT SAT-7 YOUTH PROJECT

Famous actors, writers, influencers, and entrepreneurs from the Arab world are helping to raise the profile of SAT-7’s Youth for an Enabling Society (YES) project by taking part in productions aimed at inspiring the next generation in the region.

One of them is well-known Egyptian actress Sahar El Saigh, who is starring in a short SAT-7 film called Perhaps God Sees Me. Based on a true story, the film focuses on Dina, a young Egyptian woman whose loss of hope in life causes her to attempt suicide. But she goes on to find meaning and purpose in helping others and making an impact in their lives.

Sahar said that she was “very happy” to work with SAT-7 because “they always offer programs with a good purpose” and “a deep message”. She said that she hoped the cast and crew of Perhaps God Sees Me had delivered the film’s message in the best way and that it would have a “strong impact” on viewers. “For everyone who feels that he is not enough, or that the world has become bleak for him, or who feels hopeless, the message [of the film] is wonderful,” she said.

Perhaps God Sees Me is now in post-production and will be aired later this year.

Content created by the YES project is mostly shared through social media as that is where young people mainly interact. This includes short programs, songs, drama, and youth-led initiatives in their communities. The team has recently launched new social media pages called Our Generation Plus, and in less than two months has attracted 1.1 million views on Facebook and 1.3 million on Instagram.

INSPIRATIONAL PEOPLE

Last month, the YES project held a workshop with the highly successful and well-known Egyptian businessman, Naguib Sawiris. The billionaire, who is one of the wealthiest men in the Middle East, inspired the 200 young people attending the workshop by sharing his story of becoming a successful entrepreneur and the struggles he has experienced along the way. The attendees had the opportunity to ask Mr Sawiris about how to influence society and make a difference.

SAT-7 was also able to film an interview with the businessman for the first time. Mr Sawiris is a Coptic Christian and spoke about his faith in the interview, which attracted over four million views on social media.

Other Arab celebrities are supporting the YES project by sharing their stories on a program called Star Zone, which is a collaboration between SAT-7 and the Egyptian Catholic Centre for Cinema. Interviews with 30 famous people – some of whom have more than 7 million followers on social media – have been filmed for the program. They share the challenges and struggles they have faced in their careers, encouraging young viewers to overcome their own difficulties and make a positive impact in their societies.

One of the celebrities to feature in Star Zone is Roshdy El Shamy, a famous Egyptian actor and director. His road to success was not easy and he shared how he worked in more than 30 different jobs, the hardest being as a waiter in a restaurant. Roshdy told SAT-7 that he is grateful to God for all the hard times and challenges he faced because he believes that all of these experiences enabled him to learn and shaped his character until he fulfilled his dream of becoming an influential artist in Egypt. He encouraged young viewers to learn from their experiences and work hard, trusting that God will lead them to the best place at the right time.

Short clips from Star Zone are being shared on Facebook and Instagram, with full-length episodes showing on SAT-7 PLUS, YouTube, and also on the SAT-7 ARABIC channel.

Project lead Rafik George said: “Having big public figures who can feel confident enough to be affiliated with us is a big success and proves that we can create a safe and professional environment that attracts these kinds of collaborations with people of different backgrounds and beliefs. Some of these celebrities have not appeared on a Christian satellite channel before, which makes a positive impact for our channel.

“Their influence will help us to reach many more viewers, and also reduce prejudice towards Christians, creating a great example of people from different backgrounds working positively together.”

The YES project launched last year with three main goals: to help young people in the MENA live well together despite their differences; to encourage and equip them to take responsibility for shaping their societies; and to support them in working towards the common good and building a better future for everyone.

YES is implemented by SAT-7’s Cairo studio and is supported by Norad via Digni and SAT-7’s partner the Norwegian Mission Society.

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