SAT-7 ARABIC CELEBRATES 23 YEARS OF BROADCASTING
For 23 years SAT-7 ARABIC has been taking viewers on a journey. A journey of growth, transformation, and most importantly a relationship with Jesus Christ. George Makeen, SAT-7 Arabic Channels Programming Director, reflects on the past 23 years and shares his hopes for the future.
“I joined SAT-7 ARABIC in 2003 and back then the channel was not even broadcasting 24 hours,” shares George Makeen, SAT-7 Arabic Channels Programming Director. A few months after Makeen joined the ministry, the channel turned to broadcasting 24/7. However due to shortage in budget and production the channel was only able to play an eight-hour block of programs repeatedly four times a day.
“Bigger than human efforts”
“I remember being able to watch a whole week’s programming on just a few tapes and just write a report on everything we were scheduling for a week,” describes Makeen. “Seeing how we have reached the point where no one person, or no team even, can watch all of the programs that we are producing, we see the hand of God throughout this journey.”
George comments and recognizes the commitment and efforts that Dr Terence Ascott, Founder and President of SAT-7, and SAT-7 CEO Rita Elmounayer, have contributed to the ministry, as well the SAT-7 Partners and program producers. However, the ministry has witnessed miracle upon miracle over the years.
“When you are inside the dynamics seeing the struggles and victories, we recognize that God is truly bigger than these human efforts, bigger than our plans, bigger than dedication and good work, and He was much bigger than our mistakes.”
“God uses everything in the right way”
“We saw God guiding the ministry in both ways. He used everything in the right way,” shares Makeen. He describes how God provided the ministry by connecting us with talented people by opening our eyes to programs in the right moment. George describes how God blessed the ministry with people who approached us offering to help acquire or produce programs, and opened doors for the channels to produce programs in hard to reach places and locations.
“You see God guiding the ministry to become this big, and our hopes are as big as our challenges have been,” George shares. “We pray that God will continue to give us a meaning and a purpose while we are doing what we are doing, to give us purpose and focus as we are no longer the only Christian channel in the region, and to give us focus as we are looking at the developments and technology used in media.”
Taking viewers on a journey
Many viewers have contacted the ministry over the years to express their gratitude for God’s message through our channels, some sharing how they’ve been watching our programs for 20 years since they were children, and now their children watch us too.
“It feels like we are supported by a family, in a sense,” shares Makeen. “We are living in a world where people don’t really follow channels. Rather they follow TV personalities, presenters, and specific programs. Yet what is unique about SAT-7 is that viewers are devoted to our channel and seek us out and the message we broadcast.”
The SAT-7 viewer satisfaction survey carried out in 2018 revealed many viewers expressing their appreciation for SAT-7’s approach and message, sharing comments such as: “SAT-7 cannot compete with the scale of production and big shows of secular channels, but you have a very special message and you communicate it in a good way, so keep doing that. Don’t focus on competing with other channels to grab viewers’ attention, just do the good job you are doing and keep getting better.”
“When we meet viewers’ who have been watching our programs since they were children and now they are sharing these comments with us, we understand that they are on a journey with us and they are growing with us,” shares Makeen.
Hope for the future
For the future SAT-7 aims to continue to be a place where people can come to learn about Christianity and gain a holistic view of the faith, through Christian teaching programs as well as social impact and educational programming.
“The gospel is not a prize that you will take later in the afterlife. It’s not a message of ‘live your life here however it might be and when you die hopefully you will go to heaven,” says George. “No! We are called to be change makers, and shine God’s love here on Earth helping to change people’s live here, to protect their dignity, and to protect the Earth and nature, God’s wonderful creation.”
New developments for SAT-7 ARABIC
As we celebrate SAT-7’s 23-year anniversary, the channel will be converted from a 4:3 (standard-screen) aspect ratio to full 16:9 (wide-screen) aspect ratio. This will give viewers a more natural, live, feel of our broadcasts. The channel will not be broadcasting in High Definition (HD) yet, but the picture will be improved as we will be removing black strips from the top and bottom of the screen, thereby showing our programs in full screen. Additionally, by 31 May the channel will celebrate with a new set of graphics.