10 Arab Movies and TV Shows to Watch on Netflix
By: Sophia Segal/Arab America Contributing Writer
In these times of uncertainty and in our months of quarantine we turned to Netflix; it made staying inside just a little more bearable. Many of us binged Netflix more than we care to admit. It’s also a great time to explore more of Netflix than just re-watching the same things. Netflix has done a lot in recent years to broaden its international sections with both TV shows and movies.
Below are the 10 best Arab TV shows and movies on Netflix.
The Secret of the Nile
The Grand Hotel was a great show and was the first Arab TV series to be released on Netflix in 2016. The Egyptian series is being re-released under a new name-Secret of the Nile. If it sounds familiar, it is, it’s an adaption of the hit Spanish series the Grand Hotel.
The show takes place in upper Egypt in the town of Aswan and is set in the 1950s at the Old Cataract Hotel. The story follows a man named Ali who goes to the hotel to search for his missing sister who used to work there. He gets a job working at the hotel and ends up falling in love with the hotel owner’s daughter. Together they secretly look start to look for his missing sister, and of course, other secrets are revealed and the drama never stops.
Don’t worry even if you don’t speak Arabic you can still watch it; the subtitles include English, Spanish, French, and Chinese.
Sama is the journey into the female experience of war and a love letter from a mother to a daughter. The film is about Waad al-Kateab’s life through the uprising in Aleppo, Syria where she falls in love, gets married, and gives birth to her daughter Sama. As the conflict worsens, she feels the loss and has to decide whether to flee and protect her daughters’ life, even if it means giving up the freedom she worked so hard to get. This film is the first documentary by Emmy award-winning filmmakers Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts.
Six Windows of the Desert
Six Windows in the Desert is a short films series by Saudi Arabian filmmakers. It’s told through a Saudi lens dealing with taboo topics such as extremism.
Al-Hayba (Ramadan 2017) is a Lebanese-Syrian drama series that is set in a fictional Lebanese village called al-Hayba near the Lebanese-Syrian border. In the series, the head of an arms-smuggling family deals with conflicts, power, and love.
On a field trip to Petra, it causes two Jinns-one good and one evil-that entered the human world turning a high school into a supernatural battleground. (Disclaimer: there is drinking alcohol and kissing between the teenagers).
A determined young lawyer returns home after getting her law degree in the US. She decides that instead of joining her father’s firm, she will strike out on her own to become a defense attorney, pushing the legal and cultural envelope in the process.
Black Crows is the story of women who are forced to live in the Islamic State. It follows the familiar stories of life under the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The plot-lines will be different throughout the series.
I Have a Script
I Have a Script stars a Kuwaiti actress, Souad Abdullah, and Shujoun Al-Hajri in a comedy that revolves around a woman who decides to pursue her career as a writer for TV show scripts.
This movie takes place in a Bedouin village in the Negev Desert. This drama is a spin on how men in a traditional Arab culture oppress women, who in turn also oppress each other. It’s a critique of patriarchy from a humanist and feminist perspective.
In the Bosom of the Thorn
This drama series is set during the events of the Gulf War during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. It tells the story of an infant who was taken away from her mother. Years later, she returns to Kuwait in search of her mom and the life that was taken from her.
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