The Best Arabic Shows on Netflix to Learn Arabic
We’ve already talked before about how turning on your Arab TV box and watching Arabic TV shows can help you learn Arabic language skills and Arabic dialects faster. Well, move over Arab TV because there’s a new kid in town that goes by the name of Netflix, and watch Netflix series and shows in Arabic can also help language learners learn to speak Arabic better in the same way that watching Arabic TV stations can. So, without further ado, let’s get started on the list of best Arabic shows to watch Netflix.
01 The Writer \ al katib
A best-selling crime writer must navigate a web of hidden enemies when mysterious things start happening around him that seem an awful lot like the things that happen in his stories – like being accused of a murder eerily parallel to a plot in his latest novel.
From the very beginning, The Writer will expose you to plenty of words and phrases in both the Lebanese and Syrian Arabic related to crime, police, and investigations; however, the show moves pretty fast, so you might not catch every word, but that’s okay, too. It just means you’ll enjoy more the second time around.
02 al Hayba
Al Hayba is an area located on the border between Syria and Lebanon, where a very stubborn young man named Jabal and his clan, Sheikh El Jabal, control arms trading and smuggling along the borders. Though Jabal and his family lead a modern lifestyle, he still relies on the traditional customs of the clan to solve conflicts and keep his power.
Also filmed in both Lebanese and Syrian Arabic, you’ll have to work hard as a learner to understand the nuances of what’s going on, but you should get the overall gist of what the characters are talking about and what’s going on this Arabic series.
03 The Secret of the Nile
Known as “فندق جراند” (or “The Grand Hotel”) to its Arabic viewers, this series was based on the Spanish series Netflix was showing at the same time, so to avoid confusion, Netflix changed the name of this Egyptian Arabic version to the English title The Secret of the Nile. Nevertheless, this is one of the hottest Egyptian series on Netflix.
Taking place in the 1950s, the protagonist, a young man named Ali, arrives in the beautiful city of Aswan to search for his missing sister. He soon finds himself working as a waiter at the Grand Hotel and falls in love with Nazly, who also just happens to be the daughter of the hotel’s owner. Nazly helps Ali search for his sister and understand the circumstances leading up to her disappearance. During their search, however, they discover even bigger secrets and mysteries lurking inside the Grand Hotel.
The Egyptian dialect used in the show reflects the upper crust schmoozing that could only take place in a beautiful period drama production. You really can’t miss watching this one.
04 Black Crows
Edge-of-you-seat intense, Black Crows is the story of women living under the rule of the Islamic State in Raqqa, Syria. Don’t expect a documentary, however, as this thirty-episode Arabic Netflix series is a powerful drama about a slave, an undercover journalist, child soldiers, and an ISIS recruit – all women living in an ISIS terrorist cell.
Since it’s filmed in different Arabic dialects, be sure to use Netflix subtitling in Arabic to get the most of your Arabic language learning experience.
The first original Arabic language series on Netflix, Jinn focuses on the lives of teenagers tasked with the heavy burden of understanding and investigating the malevolent jinn (magical spirits who may appear in the form of a human or an animal and can take possession of that person or animal) who happen to appear in their midst.
Once again, because this was also filmed using multiple Arabic dialects, you may find it useful to watch it with Netflix, here subtitles (Arabic). However, if you’ve been watching the shows in the order we’ve suggested them, you may be up for the challenge of not using subtitles at all by now.
06 In the Bosom of a Thorn
This dramatic series tells the story of a baby who was separated from her family during the time that Kuwait was invaded by Iraq leading to the First Gulf War in 1990. As an adult she is still trying to find her mother all of these years later. This heartwarming story has a huge cast of complex characters, and as you can probably guess, since it takes place in Kuwait, it uses the Kuwaiti Arabic dialect as an extra added bonus for those who want to study it.
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