Arab Labor

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Arab Labor
Also known asAvoda Aravit
Written bySayed Kashua
Directed byRonnie Ninio (season 1)
Shai Kapon (season 2-4)
StarringNorman Issa, Clara Khoury, Salim Dau, Salwa Nakra, Fatma Yihye, Mariano Idelman, Mira Awad
Opening themeDAM
Country of originIsrael
Original languagesArabic, Hebrew
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes43 (+ Independence Day special)
Executive producerDaniel Paran
ProducerYoni Paran
Production locationIsrael
EditorUdi Lion
Running time48 minutes
Original networkChannel 2 (Keshet)
Original release2007 (2007) –
2013 (2013)
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]

In the United States, the program aired nationally on Link TV. It also appeared on KCET in Los Angeles in 2014.


  • 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]


  • Mary McNamara (15 November 2008). "Finding humor and truth amid conflict". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  • Jonathan Curiel (13 November 2008). "Meet the Palestinian Seinfeld. Who knew?". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  • Ali Jaafar (1 February 2008). "Israeli sitcom about Arabs a hit". Variety. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  • Isabel Kershner (7 January 2008). "TV comedy depicts world of the Arab Israeli". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
  • Anat Rosenberg (29 January 2008). "'Avoda Aravit' - breaking TV barriers". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 29 September 2012.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Arab Labor Third Season". Archived from the original on 20 May 2015. 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]