U.S. makes strides toward ‘New Beginnings’ in the Middle East

By November 5, 2009

Middle East (MNN/SAT7) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton this week unveiled programs aimed at strengthening U.S. ties in the
Middle East and North Africa. Parts of
that focus aim at empowering repressed women there. It also dovetails neatly with the SAT-7
Christian satellite television series An Hour is Not Enough

Program producer Julianna Sfeir says the show is very
needed: "We hope to educate women in the Middle East and North Africa as to
what their basic rights are when they are the heads of a household. There is a
lot of work that needs to be done to educate these women."

An Hour is not Enough
asks and answers direct questions: How do female heads of household cope with
responsibilities that have suddenly fallen on their shoulders when they are
abandoned, neglected, or lose a husband? How do they raise their children in a
society that looks down upon them with shame, even if it's not their fault?
What happens when a husband deserts his family? What are the rights of women,
and how do they realize those rights?

SAT-7's David Harder explains: "What we're doing is
airing a series of documentaries profiling the lives of a number of women, to
sort of open the issue. Then this live show will be one in which people can
call in, discuss, and share about their problems, and they can learn about solutions. And of course, a
major solution is a spiritual solution, starting off with knowing more about
Christ and His love and the hope that He provides." 

Harder hopes the forum will bring healing for women in the Middle East. "It's a big
issue that's been below the surface, and it hasn't been discussed openly. This
show is going to be discussing it openly, and we're really hoping that it makes
a difference in people's lives and that women will see that there is hope."

According to SAT-7, society often stigmatizes women who are
divorced or separated or victims of other forms of social and economic
hardship. The severity of the stigma is intimidating.  

The first episode of An Hour is not Enough will set the tone. The hosts will discuss
various issues like divorce, separation, widowhood, unemployment, inheritance, and
child custody. During this 26-week
series, guests tackle these social problems, because they can't be solved if no
one talks about them.  

In Lebanon, Voice of Charity Radio will be "simulcasting" An Hour is not Enough. See www.radiocharity.org for frequencies.

SAT-7 is a Christian television service created by and for
the People of the Middle East and North Africa with U.S. headquarters in
Easton, Md.  SAT-7 makes Christ's message of hope available to every home in the
Middle East.

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