The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is a patriarchal society. Most women and children are not encouraged to speak up, share an opinion or disagree with the male figure of the family. The Coach Presenter Dr Ihab Maged, discusses the issues that many Middle Eastern families face on parenting and engagement within the family.

Through its programming SAT-7 aims to help families learn to engage in discussions, voice their opinions and understand that all members of a family have a right to speak up. SAT-7 ARABIC’s counselling program The Coach encourages viewers to have healthy, open conversations with their children, to prepare them to cope with the world and to help them feel safe within the home environment.


“There’s a major problem in the Arab world,” says Dr Maged. “There’s a lack in awareness of how to raise children in a healthy way.”

The Coach Presenter explains how it is rare for parents in the Arab world to read a book about raising their children, so many parents use trial and error, or use methods that their parents used on them, such as beating, shouting and threatening.

“We need to raise awareness and talk about this topic more than once. It’s not enough to spend just one episode or one program to talk about parenting topics. There needs to be more than one program,” says Dr Maged.


The program is having a real-life impact on its viewers. “Because of your program, I haven’t hit my son for six months now,” shared a father form Egypt, after watching an episode of The Coach, which addressed physical abuse.

The second season of The Coach featured live episodes, through which viewers could call in to the program, and discuss their problems directly with Dr Maged.

“Although one phone call may not be enough to tackle some complicated family problems, or deep-rooted problems, it is still good to be in direct communication with viewers on air” explains Dr Maged.


Creating a safe environment where children can express themselves or admit to a mistake without the fear of being beaten or belittled, is vital for them to grow into healthy adults. The Coach tackles these topics regularly, repeating to parents the importance of having stability and security in the home, and in their relationships with their children.

“We must increase awareness until healthy parenting becomes a lifestyle for parents in the Arab world,” says Dr Maged.



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