Title

KCETLink Introduces Controversial Israeli Comedy ?ARAB LABOR? to Southern California Audiences

Hit International Series Debuts on KCET on May 6;

Season 1 Reboots on Link TV on May 11

 

KCETLink and the Levantine Cultural Center to Hold

Community Screening Event

for Arab Labor May 4 at 5 p.m. at Harmony Gold Preview

House

 

BURBANK,

Calif. - April 24, 2014 - While race relations in the Middle East aren't

typically a laughing matter,
ARAB

LABOR
, an

award-winning Israeli sitcom, has engaged an enthusiastic global audience by

poking fun at the cultural and political differences in Israel?s mixed society.

Today, KCETLink announced that the
first season of

ARAB LABOR
will debut exclusively on KCET in Southern California with two

half-hour back-to-back episodes Tuesday nights beginning May 6, 2014 at 9

p.m.

 

Additionally, the series will reboot from season 1 on national satellite

network Link TV (via DirecTV 375 and DISH 9410) on Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 8

p.m. ET/PT
ARAB LABOR, broadcast in Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles,

debuted in the U.S. on Link TV in the fall of 2008.

 

Created

by Sayed Kashua, an Israeli-born Palestinian journalist,
ARAB LABOR (translated

from the Hebrew "Avoda Aravit," which colloquially implies

"shoddy or second-rate work") is a controversial hit Israeli comedy

series that focuses on Amjad Alian, a Palestinian journalist and Israeli

citizen in search of his identity, as he seeks high status in the society into

which he was born, but where his car is searched everyday when he drives to his

job in Jerusalem.

 

Humorously

highlighting the collision of language, religion and custom, the milestone

series depicts Israeli society through the eyes of an amusing Muslim Arab

family and their constant desire to conform. 

When it premiered in Israel in 2007, the

sitcom marked a milestone on Israeli television as the first program to present

Palestinian characters speaking Arabic in primetime.

 

"We

are excited to introduce this unique and daring series to Southern California

audiences, who represent a cultural melting pot," said Lorraine Hess, Vice

President of Programming and Acquisitions for KCETLink, who first introduced ARAB

LABOR
to U.S. audiences on Link TV. 

"We are confident this series can help enlighten viewers to some of the

nuances around the Arab/Israeli experience that perhaps aren't evident from

mainstream news reporting."

 

A

community screening of ARAB LABOR will take place on Sunday, May 4,

2014, at   5 p.m. at the Harmony Gold Preview

House at 7655 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. The screening, presented with the

Levantine Cultural Center, will be followed by a panel discussion with

community leaders, moderated by Jordan Elgrably, the Center's executive

director. Media can RSVP at rsvp@levantinecenter.org.

 

ARAB LABOR stars Amjad Alian (Norman

Issa),
a Palestinian-Israeli journalist working in Jerusalem; Meir

(Mariano Idelman),
Amjad's Jewish-Israeli coworker at the newspaper; Bushra

(Clara Khoury),
Amjad's wife, mother of Maya; and Amal (Mira Awad), a

Palestinian-Israeli attorney to whom Meir is attracted.

 

Episodes

will stream online for two weeks following each broadcast at kcet.org/arablabor

and linktv.org/arablabor
.

 

Season One Episode

Descriptions

"The Car"

Amjad is stopped regularly on the road for a security

check by police and does not understand why, because he thinks he looks like

the average Israeli. Meir tells him that it is because the Subaru he drives is

considered an Arab car. Amjad decides to trade in his Subaru and gets into

trouble with the owners of the chop shop. All this is going on while Amjad the

journalist has to explain in the media why Arabs are involved in more traffic

accidents.

 

"The Sheep"

Amjad moves from the news desk to the magazine. The

editor asks him for a colorful, sexy piece. Amjad is not sure and deliberates

until he hears from his father about a very special sheep who understands what

the soldiers say.

 

"Kindergarten"

Amjad understands that it is time for his parents to stop

babysitting his daughter every day and for her to go to kindergarten and

broaden her horizons. At first, he tries an Islamic kindergarten with a good

reputation in the village. The little girl becomes religious, and Amjad decides

to look for a strictly kosher Jewish kindergarten for her. He tries several

options and encounters expected and unexpected difficulties.

 

"Kidnapping"

Amjad and Meir are preparing an article about the Arab

Miss Israel. Meir, who remains in the village to take pictures, is kidnapped by

the taxi driver and his cronies. Amjad and his father set out on a rescue

mission to free Meir from his kidnappers.

 

"Passover"

It is the week of Passover. Meir meets with Amal, an

attorney and friend of Bushra. He invites her to the Passover Seder. Amjad is

also invited along with his wife and children to the home of a reform family

whose son goes to kindergarten with Maya. Amjad is enthusiastic about the Seder

ceremony and decides to adopt the concept of the Haggadah into Eid al-Adha

(Festival of Sacrifice).

 

"Reserve Duty"

Amjad is called into the police and asked to help supply

information to the security forces. He gets very scared and tries to find a way

out. His mother-in-law, who just moved in with them while her apartment is

being remodeled and, as always, manages to annoy Amjad, will be his way of

giving the GSS (General Security Services) what it wants.

 

"Loyalty"

Amjad interviews the leader of a new political party that

advocates a repartitioning of Israel between Jews and Arabs. Amjad, who is not

at all sure of which side he wants to be on in this new partitioning, goes to a

psychologist to find resolution. Now the story starts getting really entangled.

 

"Crime on the Border"

Bushra honks at a BMW that is blocking them, and Amjad is

afraid that he is about to get into it with one of the village criminals. He

goes up to them to apologize for his wife's honking and gets into even more

trouble. In the mean time, Meir is beside himself with jealousy because of a

Palestinian student who is courting Amal.

 

"Meeting the Parents"

Amal wants to meet Meir's parents. Meir, who is afraid of

the meeting, hires substitute parents who will play the role of his very

left-wing parents, who have no problem at all with the fact that their son is

in a relationship with an Arab woman. Amjad invites Bushra out to a fancy

restaurant, where all of Jerusalem's elite set go and ends up in a mess with

his neighbor, the dishwasher at the restaurant.

 

"Independence Day"

The race for the money reaches the delivery room. A known

millionaire declares that he will award a million NIS to the first baby that is

born on Independence Day. Bushra and Amjad compete with the Chen couple on who

will give birth first.

 

ABOUT KCETLINK

KCETLink

is the national independent public transmedia organization formed by the merger

between KCET and Link Media. A viewer-supported 501c(3) organization, its

content is distributed nationally via satellite on DirecTV (375) and DISH (9410),

in Southern and Central California via broadcast, as well as through various

digital delivery systems. The combined organization reaches a wide broadcast

audience that includes Link TV's 33 million satellite subscribers and KCET's

5.6 million households in Southern and Central California. KCETLink is

committed to driving public media innovation with smarter ways to access

content that engages all audiences with global storytelling. For additional

information about KCETLink productions, web-exclusive content, programming

schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org or linktv.org.