Christmas in January

By January 1, 2009

Egypt
(MNN) — Christmas is not over yet for children in the Middle
East.  Because they follow
the Eastern (Gregorian/Coptic) calendar rather than the Western (Julian)
calendar, they will celebrate Christmas on January 7. In Egypt, president Hosni Mubarak
declared January 7 a national holiday in 2003. 

SAT-7 ARABIC and SAT-7 KIDS will continue broadcasting
Christmas programming until January 7. The programs will include rebroadcasts of a live Christmas Eve service
from the Christmas Lutheran Church
in Bethlehem,
and the first-ever live program for children on SAT-7 KIDS. 

During the live showing, so many children called in to the
KIDS Christmas special that the phone lines and the on-air hosts could not handle
all the calls. The children were calling
from countries all over the Middle East, including Egypt,
Lebanon, Syrai,
Kuwait, Iraq, and the
Gulf. 

"We were amazed by the response," said Naji, the host of a children's
science show and one of the three hosts of the special Christmas program. "I wasn't expecting that we would get so many
people calling. The phones were ringing all the time and people were texting to
say they couldn't get through."

Although
technical difficulties delayed the program for 45 minutes, it was a great
success. The people who ran the show will
learn from the experience as they plan more live shows for 2009. 

Like
all of the special Christmas musicals, cartoons, films, and other programs, the
live show pointed to Christ and the true meaning of Christmas. 

"We
had Santa come on later in the show, but he was upset," Naji explained. "When we asked why, he said, 'Because people
have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas. It's not about me, but about
Jesus and that he came for the salvation of all people.' So the show helped our
young viewers remember the true meaning of Christmas."

SAT-7
KIDS was launched in October 2007, and it is the first and only Arabic
Christian channel exclusively for children. It broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and aims to
make the Gospel of Christ available to an entire generation of young Arabs in a
way meaningful to them.

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