After an extraordinary year of hardship and isolation, SAT-7 ARABIC’s Christmas special joins Christians across the Middle East and North Africa together in joy and service to others. Families from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria will participate from their homes, in a celebration in aid of struggling and homeless families in Lebanon.

“It may be a hard time for us all, but during hard times, God’s blessings are abundant. It is also a time of opportunities for serving others. From our perspective, as Christians working in television, hard times are the best times to work and serve more,” says Maroun Bou Rached, Executive Director of SAT-7 Lebanon.

It is with this in mind that SAT-7 ARABIC has produced United despite what separates us, a two-hour program that will be shown on Christmas Eve. The participating families include two sisters from Iraq, one of whom has disabilities and uses a wheelchair, a Syrian refugee family of new Christians living in Lebanon, a family from Algeria, a family from Lebanon who were made homeless in the Beirut port explosion, a couple from Jordan, an extended family from southern Egypt, and children from a Lebanese children’s home called SOS Children Village.

During the special, presented by well-known television personality Milad Hadchiti, the families will worship together and share their testimonies, Christmas traditions, cultures, and food. The program will also focus on struggling and homeless families in Lebanon who are unable to celebrate Christmas this year. “The families will also take part in some games and challenges, such as guessing games about the other families, and can collect points,” explains Supervisor Mirna Adaymi. “The points won will be gathered and donated in the form of money to a family in need whose story was previously told on You Are Not Alone.”

This is Blanche and her family, who were made homeless during the financial crisis caused by COVID-19 and were sheltering on a rooftop in Beirut. “A recap of Blanche’s family situation will be given in the beginning of the episode, and the money will be given to her in the end as a symbol of unity and sharing from the other families, especially during this season,” says Adaymi.

SAT-7 ARABIC also broadcasts its first Christmas special made in Tunisia this year

Rached explains that the special has been challenging to produce. “It’s the first time we have implemented such an idea,” he says. “Gathering guests in this way hasn’t been done before on SAT-7, or even on secular television. The idea is to make an inclusive program for all. There are many types of families, and we want all to feel part of the larger family of Christ.”

United despite what separates us is part of an extensive line-up of Christmas programming to appear on SAT-7 ARABIC this year, including three special concerts from Evangelical, Orthodox, and Coptic churches, a special live church service from Lebanon, and the first-ever Christmas special from Tunisia. SAT-7 KIDS will broadcast a three-part Christmas special, Christmas is all about Jesus, and a special program from Algeria. Meanwhile, SAT-7 ACADEMY will share a special edition of the popular My School Facebook Live episodes called In Their Shoes, which sees the teachers take part in entertaining challenges.

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