‘SPEAK UP’, A PLATFORM FOR MOTHERS’ VOICES
Many Egyptian Christian families have been left traumatised by the recent violent attacks on their community. SAT-7 ARABIC’s counselling program for women, Speak Up, reaches out to mothers of traumatised children, offering support and advice.
Presenter Layla Farag and her guest, Pastor Ezzat Shaker, helped parents work through their emotions and took live calls from viewers, providing them with an opportunity to share their feelings and ask questions about how to help their children.
TO EVERY PAINED SOUL
Farag set the tone of the special episode, which was entitled “To every pained soul”, by reading out a letter that had been shared on social media. The writer said that despite the attacks on Christians and her fears for her daughter’s safety, she loves Egypt and will not leave the country.
The presenters examined the public reaction to the most recent act of violence, in which at least 28 Christians were shot dead on a bus travelling to a monastery. Anger, pain, and disillusion are common responses from people of all religions, and many Christians are in despair that the situation is worsening.
COMFORT AND COUNSELLING
Pastor Ezzat empathised with the families of the victims and encouraged viewers struggling with these feelings to turn to God and to take a peaceful stand against oppression, rather than responding with violence.
The show also discussed questions such as “Why are Christians under attack?”, “Why were the victims killed even though they were on their way to church to pray?”, and “Are God’s promises of protection only for the soul and not the body?” Pastor Shaker presented a biblical perspective on the attacks against the Christian community and reminded viewers that the Church in Egypt has endured throughout previous eras of opposition and violence.
MOTHERS CALL TO VOICE THEIR CONCERNS
A viewer named Eman called in to say: “I am calling this program for the purpose its name implies: to speak up. I want to vent my feelings of anger and disappointment in my country, the country that I refused to leave. My children want to leave Egypt, but I created a group called “Kids in love with Egypt” to show them the beauty of this country.”
Nermine from Cairo shared that she planned not to send her six-year-old son on any trips in the future because she feared for his safety. She continued, “When my son saw a TV program about these events last night, he asked me if we would be killed if we said we were Christian. How can I answer him?” The presenters counselled Nermine, advising that parents try to limit their children’s exposure to distressing news reports as these can be difficult for them to process.
Speak Up, which has just aired its first series, is one of several SAT-7 counselling programs. The show tells the stories of women who have overcome difficult issues and invites viewers struggling with similar problems to call in and receive counselling.