Arab Labor

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Arab Labor
Also known as 'Avoda Aravit'
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
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
Editor(s) Udi Lion
Running time 48 minutes
Original network Channel 2 (Keshet)
Original release 2007 – Still running
Norman Issa portrays the main character Amjad

Arab Labor (Hebrew: עבודה ערבית‎‎, Avoda Aravit; Arabic: شغل عَرَب‎‎, Shughl 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 Israel.[2]


  • Amjad (Norman Issa) – An Arab-Israeli journalist working in Jerusalem[4]
  • Meir (Mariano Idelman) – photojournalist, 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, Abu Amjad (Salim Dau) – Amjad's father
  • Umm Amjad (Salwa Nakra -Seasons 1-3), (Alham Araff - Season 4)) – Amjad's mother
  • Maya (Fatma Yihye) – Amjad and Bushra's daughter
  • Natan (Dov Navon) and Timna (Rona Lipaz-Michael) - Joined in Season 2, neighbors of Amjad and Bushra
  • Yoske (Aryeh Moskona) and Yocheved (Sandra Sade) - Seasons 2 and 3 only, neighbors of Amjad and Bushra
  • Ami Schuster (Menashe Noy) - Joined in Season 3, Amjad's agent


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. 

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