The Big Felafel

LOL: Avoda Aravit (Arab Labor).

TV show Arab Labor

'Arab Labor'

We all know, well except for maybe the dummy TV Tax people, that I do not own a TV. What’s the point of owning a TV nowadays when you can watch any TV show you want, without commercials online?

And while I love my line up of non-reality reality shows, comedies that everyone is watching; every now and then an Israeli show will make it into my line-up. Most Israeli TV has the same five recycled actors in different TV shows that I can’t stand. But, my friends, there is a show so fantastic, so funny and so well written that I just can’t keep it all to myself.

In honor of the Writer’s Festival taking place in Jerusalem right now, I would like to introduce you to the show Avoda Aravit (Arab Labor). Creator, Sayed Kashua, says he named the show Arab Labor because it is a well-known saying in Israel that any crap work is ‘Arab Labor.’ This kind of humor, tight scripts and incredible actors, makes for awesome TV watching.

Arabs and Kippas

Arabs and Kippas, sure write it in!

The show pokes fun at all of Israeli society. The story and characters are based off of Kashua’s life experiences, which you can also read about in his Haaretz columns. The premise is an Arab family who moves into the Jewish Jerusalem neighborhood of Rehavia. What’s it like to be an Arab living in West Jerusalem? The neighbors make up most of the rest of the cast and include all the stereotypes you would want to see (although I must say I haven’t seen any episode with the token new immigrant, a flaw most Israeli shows make…in my humble opinion). The show has no boundaries and touches upon all those uncomfortable subjects most politicians avoid in their well thought out peace speeches. Make fun of religion? Sure, put an Arab family at a Seder table. The show makes fun of everything from our different religions, cultures, politics and even the level we speak at in a conversation. It’s brilliant. It’s bold. And, yes it’s beautiful.

This is the first Arabic speaking show to be on prime time TV. Don’t worry there is a mix of Hebrew, Arabic and even sometimes some broken English (one of the best episodes which features the BBC and my running buddy Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat).

There are so many hilarious incidents that I want to summarize for you here…but come on, they won’t sound as funny and why waste your time with me when you can watch the real thing?

Do you watch the show? We want to hear from you what you think? And if you want to hear from the creator himself here’s your opportunity this week at the Writer’s Festival. Click here for more details.



Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. * Zach F says:

    Is there anywhere I can find episodes of Arab Labor online with English subtitles? I really want to watch this.

    | Reply Posted 11 years ago
    • * Molly says:

      Unfortunately I have not found full episodes with English subtitles, but I have seen parts of the episodes on Youtube with subtitles. It is such a great show I truly hope someone starts to subtitle it.

      | Reply Posted 11 years ago
  2. * Yehonathan says:

    You can get season 1 on DVD at Netflix.

    | Reply Posted 11 years ago
  3. * SARI says:

    SUCH AS the show Avoda Aravit (Arab Labor)

    | Reply Posted 11 years ago
    • * Molly says:

      The link that I provide in the article is the best I can do.

      | Reply Posted 11 years ago
  4. * Stephanie says:

    The following link will take you a to a website where you can watch episodes from the show with English subtitles. The trick is the website is in Hebrew, so you have to be able to navigate to the episode you want, although it’s pretty easy to figure out. This link will take you to season 2. If you want to watch episodes from a different season you can scroll down.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 10 months ago
  5. * Andrea says:

    I’m sorry but in that web is the serie but without subtitles.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 10 months ago

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