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Arab Labor: Season 1 (2008)

Clara Khoury , Norman Issa , Roni Ninio , Yaakov Goldwasser  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Arab Labor: Season 1 + The Gatekeepers + Fill the Void
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Product Details

  • Actors: Clara Khoury, Norman Issa, Salim Daw
  • Directors: Roni Ninio, Yaakov Goldwasser
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Hebrew
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: Arabic
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Alive Mind
  • DVD Release Date: July 14, 2009
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00265T7JC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,973 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Arab Labor: Season 1" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Arab Labor is a raucous and irreverent critically acclaimed comedy series from Israel about Amjad, a Palestinian journalist and Israeli citizen in search of his identity. His personal quest for status and success as a journalist at a Jerusalem newspaper is foiled by the humiliating searches he endures everyday when he leaves his Palestinian neighborhood to commute to his job. In the midst of a walloping identity crisis, Amjad jockeys between two cultures as he tries to polish his image for his Jewish friends and colleagues while enjoying his own down-to-earth family life.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful series August 10, 2009
Verified Purchase
I happened to glance at Link TV one day, and this series happened to be on at the time.
Since Hebrew is my mother tongue, I had to watch.
The plot is about the trials and tribulations of Amjad, a journalist of Arab Israeli descent. The show's language is mainly Hebrew with Arabic and English interspersed throughout. In Israel the title Arab Labor, is akin to shoddy labor. It was/is used as a denigrating phrase for Arab capability.
The show is funny and full of heart. Amjad is torn between the respect he owes to his scheming "old fashion" father, and to his modern secular upbringing, which brings him closer in spirit to the modern secular Israelis. However, since he is an Arab, he does encounter bias in every turn. How his problems are handled, is the main crux of the plot, and they are handled with love and a great sense of humor.
I highly recommend this DVD to one and all.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Hugs, No Lessons Learned August 14, 2009
Verified Purchase
"Seinfeld" was supposed to be a show about nothing - no hugs at the end, no lessons learned - just straight up human frailties. "Arab Labor" borrows that aspect of "Seinfeld" and marries it to "All in the Family" and then ships the whole thing over to Israel. It works completely.

When I say "Arab Labor" on LinkTV, I fell out of my chair laughing. I have been waiting for season one and now I shall have it! This is, far and away, one of the greatest sitcoms ever made. It's irreverent, yet playful. True, you need to know some history here and there to get some of the jokes, but it's very accessible comedy - if you don't mind reading along. I'll admit my Hebrew and Arabic aren't up to snuff, but the jokes do translate well enough for me to fall in love with them.

If you have no sense of humor, don't buy this. If you love it when sacred cows become hamburger, then this product is both kosher and halal.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best series on Israeli television December 5, 2011
By Donshi
Here is what I wrote in the daily newspaper Haaretz, about Arab Labor in July 2010:

Possibly the easiest thing you will ever be asked to do to better understand Jewish-Arab relations in Israel is watch "Avodah Aravit" ("Arab Labor" ). Television viewing is usually not hard work, but the show, which returned to Channel 2 on Saturday night, makes it effortless because it is blessed with all three of the ingredients required for a top-flight sitcom: excellent ensemble acting with characters we can care about, an infinitely rich subject, and great comic writing.

Three years after the first season was seen by more than a million viewers, with consistently high ratings among Jewish (but not Arab ) viewers, the season premiere thrust us right back into Amjad's world. Amjad (Norman Issa ), a token Arab reporter for a Hebrew newspaper, is repeatedly assigned to write features that only reinforce Jewish readers' stereotypes of Arabs as quaint. He is desperate to enjoy the comforts and freedoms taken for granted by his Jewish colleagues and to be accepted by Jews, but this impossible quest twists his soul into a pretzel.

Writing separates the best sitcoms from the dunghills of mediocrity and "Arab Labor"'s writing is not only first-rate, but, astonishingly, the work of one man. Sayed Kashua is a triple threat: He is the lone scriptwriter, he is a columnist for this newspaper and his recently released third novel, "Second Person Singular," earned flattering reviews. The tyranny of sitcom rules demanding three jokes per page dooms most scriptwriters to be tediously superficial, but Kashua produces scripts that are authentic, moving and funny as hell.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Good Times" or "The Jeffersons" for Israel July 8, 2009
This product is mostly in Hebrew, but is subtitled in English. I was lucky to get an early release copy. This is the Israeli version of "The Jeffersons" or "Good Times". It is groundbreaking as it is a series about a family of Palestinian-Israelis. A view of Israeli and Palestinian-Israeli life from the view of an Arab-Israeli. He is a normal father, husband and son who is trying to fit in to a dual society. He isn't a confrontational person nor is he controversial, he is just trying to make it through the day and have a normal life. Not only is this a great glimpse into lives that most Americans and even most Israelis will never see, but it is FUNNY. It is life, whether it is trying to find a good kindergarten for his daughter or dealing with parents or in-laws.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arab Labor August 26, 2009
Verified Purchase
Cutting social commentary done in a humorous way. Should be required viewing for all potential suicide bombers and ultra orthodox settlers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly brilliant TV series February 15, 2013
This is an utterly brilliant TV series that I believe has taken Israel by storm. It's very much a 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' for Israeli Arabs, especially for those, like our central character, who suffer a deep crisis of identity. It's about time that the Israel/Palestinian conflict, which is ludicrously self-defeating for both peoples, was treated with irreverence and to outlandish comic effect. Incredibly insightful into the foibles and contradictions of Israeli society, it treats the prejudices of both sides in an honest and unpatronizing way. Representatives of both 'sides' are humanised in ways seldom seen by their Israeli or Palestinian counterparts, several being candidly depicted as being far from saintly. The program uses humor to expose the hypocrisy and bigotry that have bedeviled all reasonable attempts at finding a political solution to this continuing Middle East nightmare. I wholeheartedly recommend it, especially to leaders of Hamas and the Israeli government respectively. Maybe they can all watch it, have a good laugh at themselves, shake hands and divide the land into 2 states asap!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Seinfeld? This is way better than Seinfeld.
This is one of the funniest seasons, filmed during a relative lull in the violence. Before the filming of the second season, the director said he would have to get darker, and he... Read more
Published 2 months ago by MikosMom
5.0 out of 5 stars simply briliant!
It is a smart, bitter seat look at the life of Palestinians who live in Israel and are Israeli citizens. Brilliant writing, great cast,good translation.
Published 2 months ago by ari
5.0 out of 5 stars Humor From the Middle East: What a Pleasant Surprise
Well acted, fair minded (an equal opportunity offender), and thoroughly entertaining if you don't mind sub-titles. We love it. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Hasan al-Basri
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful series depicting living in the middle east with lots of...
I too came upon this series on Link at my sister's home and immediately adored the characters. I'm Arabic and raised in the US but still hold strong my Arabic roots. Read more
Published 6 months ago by headdoc
3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't work for me
Just not that engaging for me? Can't call it jewish seinfield Maybe lost in translation. Didn't work for me at all
Published 7 months ago by Jorgia Bordofsky
5.0 out of 5 stars a great laugh!
love being able to pause the show when I want to laugh my butt off! I watch on link tv and usually miss about 1/3 of the subtitles due to prolonged laughter!
Published 9 months ago by kathryn hashem
5.0 out of 5 stars Arab Labor- Laughter Labor
WHERES SEASON 2 & 3!!!! IM GOING THROUGH LAUGHTER WITHDRAWALS!! Seriously, well written and acted and very funny. All people would like this. 60 minutes did a piece on it.
Published 11 months ago by S. Silva
5.0 out of 5 stars Arab Labor is engaging, funny, and insightful
This series uses a personable cast and situation comedy to look at real issues of cultural difference and discrimination. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Janet Leslie
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing satire
This is a fabulous DVD set. Each episode is witty, insightful and just plain fun. The DVDs are of good quality.
Published 14 months ago by J. T. Kimelman
5.0 out of 5 stars Real funny and clever TV comedy Series
I really enjoyed the first season of this TV series and am looking forward to the second season. I am familiar with the Israeli Jewish and and Arab cultures, so I got all the... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Erika Young
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