It’s a fundamental premise of SAT-7 that women’s programming is very important. Women need a platform, a safe place to express themselves openly without fear of judgment or prejudice. They feel their culture has ignored or abandoned them and they are thirsty for recognition, for a voice, for hope!
Needle and New Thread, airing weekly on SAT-7 ARABIC, provides such a platform. The show’s team of presenters—all women—open the discussion on a variety of culturally sensitive topics such as sexual abuse, attitudes toward mental health issues, and dating in a conservative culture. As viewers become comfortable interacting with the program hosts, their phone calls and messages begin to reflect personal and often heavy issues that, until now, have been swept under the carpet even by the women themselves.
Physical abuse is widely accepted in Middle Eastern societies without laws that criminalize domestic violence. And this mentality is being passed on to children. One young Arabic boy stated in an interview that it is okay for a man to beat his wife if she makes him a bad meal.
The program continues to receive alarming stories from callers who have experienced or have come to accept physical abuse. Program presenters are careful to be respectful and sensitive to women who are brave enough to call in and share their problems. One host says, “I pray before each episode that I will handle every call well, because if a caller’s feelings are hurt, you lose your credibility. Every single reaction is seen by the audience, so we must be very careful with our facial expressions during a call.”
Viewers call seeking spiritual and practical advice about shared parental responsibilities between wives and husbands, dealing with elderly parents, and how to help children who abuse technology or are viewing pornography. Some women are fearful of regular medical check-ups and screenings, such as mammograms, and tend to downplay the importance of these appointments. The forum provided by Needle and New Thread is a safe and credible place for women to find encouragement and useful information for dealing with the issues that are most pressing and sensitive to them.
Programs like Needle and New Thread make it possible for us, Women for Middle East HOPE, to participate—albeit indirectly—in this important forum! Please send your gift TODAY to help keep us involved!