Arab Labor

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Arab Labor
Genre Comedy-drama
Written by Sayed Kashua
Directed by Ronnie Ninio (season 1)
Shai Kapon (season 2-4)
Starring Norman Issa, Clara Khoury, Salim Dau, Salwa Nakra, Fatma Yihye, Mariano Idelman, Mira Awad, Karing Ashdod
Opening theme DAM
Country of origin Israel
Original language(s) Arabic, Hebrew
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 43 (+ Independence Day special)
Executive producer(s) Daniel Paran
Producer(s) Yoni Paran
Location(s) Israel
Running time 48 minutes
Original channel Channel 2 (Keshet)
Original run 2007 – Still running
Norman Issa portrays the main character Amjad

Arab Labor (Hebrew: עבודה ערבית‎, Avoda Aravit; Arabic: شغل عَرَب‎ , Shurul Arab) is an Israeli sitcom television series, created by Sayed Kashua.


The series premiered on Keshet Channel 2 in Israel in 2007. The second season was broadcast in 2008 and the third season in 2012. [1] The series, whose title in colloquial Hebrew carries the implication of "shoddy or second-rate work",[2] focuses on the family and work situations of Amjad, an Arab-Israeli journalist. Much of the comedy is derived from the paradox of Amjad's love-hate relationship with his Arab identity and his simultaneous wish to integrate comfortably into Israeli society.[3]

Poking fun at the cultural divide, Kashua's characters play on religious, cultural and political differences to depict the mixed society prevalent in Jerusalem.[2]


  • Amjad (Norman Issa) – An Arab-Israeli journalist working in Jerusalem[4]
  • Meir (Mariano Idelman) – Amjad's Jewish-Israeli coworker at the magazine
  • Bushra (Clara Khoury) – Amjad's wife
  • Amal (Mira Awad) – An Arab-Israeli attorney to whom Meir is attracted
  • Ismael (Salim Dau) – Amjad's father
  • Umm Amjad(Salwa Nakra) – Amjad's mother
  • Maya (Fatma Yihye) – Amjad and Bushra's daughter


The Chicago Tribune described it as "... a groundbreaking TV show that finds humor in sharing a homeland." The New York Times commented, "Kashua has managed to barge through cultural barriers and bring an Arab point of view ... into the mainstream of Israeli entertainment."[2]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Arab Labor Third Season". Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Isabel Kershner (7 January 2008). "Straddling Cultures, Irreverently, in Life and Art". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Playing Sayed Kashua: Actor Norman Issa feels like the third brother of Arabs and Jews
  4. ^ Ray Hanania (18 June 2009). "Arab Labor: Using humor in Israeli sitcom to change perceptions of Arab citizens". Arab Writers Group Syndicate. Archived from the original on 5 November 2009. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 

External links[edit]