There aren’t many, but recently, some good stuff was added.
Watching Arabic TV series is a decent way to study dialects. However, it used to be the situation that there were a) no English subtitles available and b) the quality was bad. Netflix has started to fix that.
In the last months, some fine Egyptian and Lebanese TV dramas were added.
Arabic TV series on Netflix (مُسَلْسَلات)
The Secret of the Nile
Original title: Grand Hotel. This was a big hit in Egypt and was aired during Ramadan 2016t! It is based on a Spanish show (Grand Hotel) which is also the reason that Netflix changed the title to The Secret of the Nile.
What’s the story? The drama follows a young man named Ali in the 1950s who visits a prestigious hotel in Aswan to search for his missing sister, who had been employed there as a maid. He didn’t plan on falling in love with the owner’s daughter though, but a better turn of events couldn’t have happened as both try to solve the mystery of the missing sister in the mythical halls of the Grand Hotel.
Dialects? Egyptian Arabic.Watch it on netflix
Six Windows in the Desert
What’s the story? Six Windows in the Desert is a series of short films created by Saudi-Arabian filmmakers.
The series offers an insight into stories told through a Saudi lens, tackling topics including social taboos and extremism.
Dialects? Saudi-Arabian (Gulf) Arabic.Watch it on netflix
Black Crows (غرابيب سود)
What’s the story? Black Crows tells the story of women forced to live in the so-called “Islamic State”.
Dialects? You will encounter various Arabic dialects.Watch it on netflix
What’s the story? In a village by the Lebanon-Syria border, the head of an arms-smuggling clan contends with family conflicts, power struggles and complicated love.
Dialects? The series is in Lebanese and Syrian dialect.Watch it on netflix
Jinn (جن) – first Netflix Arabic production
What’s the story? A field trip to Petra causes two Jinns – one good, the other evil – to enter the human realm, turning high school into a supernatural battleground.
Dialects? Mainly Jordanian.
Should you watch it? This series stirred a lot of trouble in the Arab world – mainly because the young people in the series were kissing and drinking alcohol. But to be honest, I watched the series and found it really of poor quality (mainly the acting and the dialogues). Ob IMDB the rating is extremely poor: 3.4 (July 2019). So, is it worth watching? If you only want to train your Arabic, definitely yes!Watch it on netflix
What’s the story? Defying pressure to join her father’s firm, a determined young lawyer strikes out on her own and fights to maintain faith in Abu Dhabi’s justice system.
Dialects? Mainly Gulf Arabic.Watch it on netflix
More on Arabic for Nerds about Netflix:
What’s the story? Zeina, an assistant to the CEO has no choice: in order to get a dollar bill worth 1 million dollars, she has to ally herself with Casanova Tarek, for better or worse. A Lebanese drama!
Dialects? Mainly Lebanese and some mix.Watch it on netflix
On Netflix – but NOT worldwide (try it)
Netflix is tricky. Depending on where you live, you may have access to more Arabic musalsalat. You have to try – just click on the links below and you will see if the page will open.
For people in the US or UK, this link should work: https://netflix.com/ArabicNostalgia
You may get access to many Arabic movies from the 80’s and 90’s with English subtitles!
Other Arabic movies
- The Writer (الكاتب): When accused of a murder eerily parallel to a plot in his novel, a best-selling crime writer must navigate a web of hidden enemies. Starring: Syrian actor Bassel Khayyat and Lebanese actress Daniella Rahme.
- I Have a Script (أنا عندي نص): After the death of a loved one, a woman decides to pursue her passion for writing by penning television scripts. Starring: Kuwaiti actress Souad Abdullah and Shujoun Al-Hajri.
- What If? (ماذا لو): Four individuals at a crossroads in life are given the chance to take both paths, and decide which road is best for them. Starring: Munther Rayhana, Khaled Amin, Aseel Omran, and Rawan Mahdi.
- In the Bosom of a Thorn (حضن الشوك): After the invasion of Kuwait, a woman’s infant daughter is taken from. Now, her daughter looks to make her way back home years later. Starring: Kuwaiti actress Elham Fadala
- Hidden Worlds (عوالم خفية): While investigating an actress’s supposed suicide and her connection to the mafia, a veteran journalist discovers that corruption runs deep. Starring: Adel Imam, Salah Abdallah, Hiba Majdi
- Tango (تانغو): Shocking secrets begin to unravel when the aftermath of a car crash leaves four best friends questioning the truth of their relationships.
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