By Dan Wooding, Founder of the ASSIST News Service
CYPRUS (ANS – October 23, 2015) — A new SAT-7 program is set to encourage viewers to consider their father-daughter relationships with fun and laughter. Called, “Me and My Daughter,” it is set to air on all of SAT-7’s Arabic language channels in early 2016.
When asked who is the best actor, herself or her Dad, 11-year-old Aya Mardass immediately replies, “Me!” The room quickly fills with laughter, with Aya’s amongst the loudest.
According to SAT-7 (http://www.sat7usa.org ), Aya and her father, Hamid (who is producer, director and actor), are the talents behind the new “Me and My Daughter” program, and uses a range of segments to examine the relationship between a father and daughter, which includes some inevitable conflicts.
During the show, Hamid and Aya speak in two different Arabic dialects: a North African version spoken in Morocco and a Lebanese dialect. This is because Aya’s parents speak the different dialects.
“This is so it will be easy for viewers from across North Africa and the Middle East to understand us,” Hamid says. “It’s a big challenge. The first segment in each program is a comedic drama where my daughter and I are fighting. She’s talking in the Lebanese dialect, I’m talking in the Moroccan, and this sets the theme of the episode.
“We even fight about the title of the program,” he continues. “I’m always saying ‘Me and My Daughter,’ and she’s saying, ‘No, Me and My Dad.’ What we are trying to do is present a positive model for families in the Arab world.”
A colorful program
“Following the comedic drama, we have other segments including a quote of the day, which is presented in French, Arabic and English. There is a different song in each program, for which we are joined by a parrot puppet. There is also the ‘challenge of the day.’”
These different elements are a lot to pack into each episode, and the result is a colorful and entertaining program. The show’s success is mainly thanks to the talents of Hamid, who apart from starring in it, wrote, directed and filmed it in their Cyprus home using a range of cameras.
A positive role model
“Often there is not a good connection between a father and his children, and we are trying to present an alternative in a humorous way” says Hamid.
The show emphasizes how fathers and daughters can be friends and have fun together, challenging a more traditional dynamic in which a child blindly obeys their parents or even fears them.
Covering different topics
“The program covers a wide range of topics, from the importance of telling the truth and the need to be physically active, to what happens when we die. One episode focuses on helping children find their individual talents. There’s no doubting one of Aya’s talents – she is a natural entertainer,” concluded a SAT-7 spokesperson.
In 1995, Dr. Terence Ascott, along with Middle Eastern Christian leaders and around twenty partner organizations working in the region, launched SAT-7: The first Arabic language Christian satellite television channel. The channel was a pioneer in many areas, breaking ground for other ministries to follow. In the years since its launch, SAT-7 has grown from a two-hour a week broadcast, to a network of five 24-hour channels:
SAT-7 ARABIC (Arabic Christian programming for every age group), SAT-7 KIDS (the first and currently the only Arabic Christian channel for children), SAT-7 PLUS (The best Arabic programming from the other channels, broadcast to a different audience, over a different satellite), SAT-7 PARS (a 24-hour channel in Farsi/Persian, with some programming in Dari for Afghanistan) and SAT-7 TÜRK (Christian programming for 100 million Turkish-speakers in the region).
Photo captions: 1) The father and daughter – Hamid and Aya on the set of the new show. 2) SAT-7 logo. 3) Dan Wooding.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 74, is an award-winning winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, and is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for more than 52 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. Dan is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS). He is also the author of some 45 books and has a radio show (Front Page Radio), on the KWVE Radio Network (www.kwve.com), and two television programs all aired on the Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network (http://hsbn.tv/) based in Orange, California.
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