July 30, 2008

National Geographic Channels Inside The Koran to Be Broadcast to U.S. Troops Around the World on American Forces Network (AFN)


Contact: Russell Howard, +1-202-912-6652, [email protected], or Chris Albert, +1-202-912-6526, [email protected], or Photos: Christine Elasigue, +1-202- 912-6708, [email protected], all of National Geographic Channel; or Morgan Woerner of The Fratelli Group, +1-202-822-9491, [email protected], for National Geographic Channel; or Larry Sichter of American Forces Network (AFN), +1-951-413-2319, [email protected]

Two-Hour Special Offers Critical and Timely Insight Into Islams Holy Book

Given Ongoing U.S. Military Operations, "This is an important program for our audience to see."

- Larry Marotta, Chief, Television Division, American Forces Network

WASHINGTON, July 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Middle East has become an epicenter of violent turmoil and U.S. military operations, with hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops stationed within predominately Muslim communities. Our troops have been the target of hostility and resentment, often from those who claim religious justification. It is inherently a tense situation, which at times has been inflamed by cultural differences and misunderstanding. With so much at stake, a deeper understanding of the Muslim faith and its most sacred text is more important than ever before.

On Saturday, August 9, 2008, American Forces Network (AFN) will broadcast National Geographic Channels Inside the Koran, a journey into the heart of the Islamic world that provides a clearer understanding of this complex and often contradictory spiritual guide. The show, which premieres August 5, 2008, in the United States on National Geographic Channel (NGC), presents a cross section of Muslims living according to their varied interpretations of the Koran -- from ayatollahs and grand imams to simple farmers, and from women in positions of power to those living in veiled seclusion. NGC dissects the Korans messages of peace and tolerance - - including what some perceive as justification in the text for violent conflict and savage acts that have increasingly been waged against U.S. troops and their allies.

We are extremely proud that this film will be seen by our military personnel in the Middle East through the American Forces Network. We hope our show will help these brave men and women in uniform gain valuable insight and better understand the sensitivities within the communities that encompass their theater of operations, said Steve Schiffman, General Manager of National Geographic Channel, just as we hope domestic audiences will gain valuable insight via the U.S. broadcast on NGC.

Using first-person accounts to present a comprehensive and compelling perspective on the Koran, the turbulent history of the Islamic world and what may lie ahead for this struggling region, the two-hour special weaves together historical footage and rarely seen interviews with Muslim leaders, notable experts, scholars and religious activists. Juxtaposed with present-day contrasts and contradictions, Inside the Koranreaches back into the golden age of Islamic civilization, when the Koran inspired values of freedom and tolerance, to reveal a religion of vast dimensions, complexity and paradox.

AFNs mission is to entertain and inform American military personnel and their families stationed worldwide, said Larry Marotta, AFNs Chief of Television. Inside the Koranis an important program for our audience to see, and were grateful to our friends at the National Geographic Channel for allowing AFN to be a part of this broadcast.

Inside the Koranwill be seen Saturday, August 9, at 10 a.m. in Japan, Korea and Central Europe; 11 a.m. in Iraq; and 12:30 p.m. in Afghanistan on AFN|spectrum.

Inside the Koranis produced by Juniper Communications Ltd. Producer, writer and director is Antony Thomas. For National Geographic Channel, executive producer is Noah Morowitz, senior vice president of special programming is Michael Cascio and executive vice president of content is Steve Burns.

National Geographic Channel

Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channel (NGC) is a joint venture between National Geographic Ventures (NGV) and Fox Cable Networks (FCN). Since launching in January 2001, NGC initially earned some of the fastest distribution growth in the history of cable and more recently the fastest ratings growth in television. The network celebrated its fifth anniversary in January 2006 with the launch of NGC HD, which provides the spectacular imagery that National Geographic is known for in stunning high-definition. NGC has carriage with all of the nation's major cable and satellite television providers, making it currently available to nearly 68 million homes. For more information, please visit www.nationalgeographic.com/channel.

(AFN) American Forces Network(R)

The Department of Defense operates American Forces Network(R) (AFN). AFN, a worldwide radio and television broadcast network, serves over 850,000 American service men and women, Department of Defense civilians and their families overseas stationed at bases in 175 countries, as well as U.S. Navy ships at sea. AFN broadcasts the most popular American radio and television programs from all the major networks. For more information on AFN's programming, please visit www.myafn.net.

SOURCE National Geographic Channel

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