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SAT-7 taught people to recognize, respect, and assist those with disabilities

By August 21, 2015

Middle East (MNN) — Tania Nahas was only 9 years old when Lebanon’s civil war claimed her mobility. During one attack, she and her family escaped to an underground shelter for cover. However, one of the explosives fell directly into the shelter, wounding Tania, blinding her parents, and killing her older brother.

God’s plan had been put into motion.

In the Middle East and North Africa, people with disabilities are either hidden or shunned. Disabled children are an embarrassment to their parents, and access to buildings, opportunities, and employment are limited.

Tania Nahas (Photo Courtesy SAT-7)

Tania Nahas
(Photo Courtesy SAT-7)

That’s where SAT-7 came in.

They hired Tania as a receptionist in their Lebanon office, and she fulfilled her role beyond expectations, all from a wheelchair.

Then, one of the channel producers saw an opportunity he had been waiting for. He had always wanted to do a program for and about people with disabilities, and Tania was the perfect host for such a show. The show was called, “One Hour is Not Enough,” and by the end of its run had produced an impressive twenty-six 90-minute episodes. Each episode enthralled people with and without disabilities, asking them to respect and remember others whose daily lives might not be as easy as their own, and reminding them of God’s unconditional love.

“One Hour is Not Enough” was the first television channel in the Middle East and North Africa to be hosted by someone with a disability. Not only were all the guests on the show disabled, so were the host and episode consultant. The atmosphere allowed guests to speak with boldness, and they weren’t shy about sharing their struggles with physical, mental, and social issues.

The show was a huge hit. Tania was astonished to be recognized in public as the show’s host, and calls came in to the show from across the region.

Photo Courtesy SAT-7

(Photo courtesy SAT-7)

The calls varied, but all reflected an appreciation for the show and the impact it was having on the community. People said the show was changing the public identity of disabled people and that the program had inspired the improvement of roads and facilities. Parents of disabled children called in to thank Tania for giving them the courage to take their children into public.

Although the show has adjusted over the years, the core idea of encouraging people struggling with issues that make their daily lives much more difficult remains. Pray that SAT-7 will continue to lead the charge to stand up for those who may not be able to do so themselves. You can help by supporting SAT-7 right here.

4 Comments

  • drew reed says:

    Glad to hear something is being done to support people with disabilities . Keep up the good work.

  • Annie says:

    Tania and SAT 7, thank you for following God’s call and for all you are doing for those with a disability. God bless you.

  • Kate Moran says:

    Hello,

    I am the intern for AlManarah: The Association for Arab Persons with Disabilities. I came across your story about Tanya, and wanted to call your attention to our organization, which is doing wonderful advocacy work on behalf of the disabled communities in Israel/Palestine.

    If SAT-7 would be interested in partnering with us on some of our activities, or learning more about our current efforts to expand our International Library for the Print-Disabled (the only free, accessible library in the world for Arabic speakers), please do not hesitate to reach out.

    I would love to discuss opportunities for potential collaboration, and explore the ways in which our respective organizations can learn from one another.

    In Peace,
    Kate

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