14 Best Levantine Arabic Shows To Learn Arabic From (Netflix)

  • Written byHarilyn Tahir
  • Read time9 mins
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14 Best Levantine Arabic Shows To Learn Arabic From (Netflix)

As any Levantine Arabic enthusiast will tell you, shows are a great way to pick up useful phrases or to improve listening comprehension.

They also help you gain understanding of the culture of the country.

Of course, shows are often exaggerated and dramatised, but insights can still be gained into the language and general beliefs of the people, as well as the history and politics of the Levant.

So today I’ll share with you the best Levantine Arabic shows on Netflix.

NOTE: Depending on your location, you might not be able to watch some of the shows listed below. Additionally, most of the shows’ Arabic subtitles are unfortunately in (MSA) Modern Standard Arabic.


See this up-to-date list of best and worst online Arabic courses as well.


  1. Fauda
  2. Jinn
  3. Sandstorm
  4. Blessed Benefit
  5. Al-Hayba
  6. The Writer
  7. Tango
  8. Dollar
  9. Very Big Shot
  10. Adel Karam: Live From Beirut
  11. The White Helmets
  12. Born In Syria
  13. Speed Sisters
  14. Born In Gaza

Drama series and films for Levantine Arabic learners

1. Fauda

Fauda

Dialect: Palestinian Arabic (+ Hebrew)

Synopsis: Fauda is a political thriller jam-packed with action and suspense. As of writing, the show has a total of three seasons.

The show revolves around an Israeli undercover unit’s journey to capture Hamas terrorist known as “The Panther”.

It is important to note that the show’s narrative focus leans heavily towards an Israeli viewpoint and may not adequately reflect the Palestinians’ perspective on the conflict.

Nonetheless, learners with little background knowledge of the Israeli – Palestinian issue can still get an idea of the complicatedness and intrinsic nature of the regional conflict.

2. Jinn

Jinn

Dialect: Jordanian Arabic

Synopsis: Jinn is Netflix’s first Arabic language original which has sparked serious controversies since its release in June 2019.

The show follows a group of Jordanian teenage students who go on a field trip to Petra, a famous archaeological site in Jordan’s southwestern desert.

Although the ancient city of Petra is a popular tourist attraction, the locals believe that it is home to demons and genies. Thus, the plot thickens when the teenagers found themselves mixed up with the supernatural.

3. Sandstorm

Sandstorm

Dialect: Bedouin Arabic (Southern Israel)

Synopsis: Sandstorm is a poignant film set in a conservative Bedouin village located in Southern Israel.

The film deals with a Bedouin mother’s struggles to deal with her husband’s second marriage to a younger wife and also with the discovery of one of her daughters’ involvement in a secret relationship.

Centuries-old traditions and modernity clash in this film, bringing about tension and heart wrenching emotions.

All in all, Sandstorm is a brilliantly crafted film that addresses the misogynistic power dynamics present in the society.

4. Blessed Benefit

Blessed Benefit

Dialect: Jordanian Arabic

Synopsis: Blessed Benefit is a Jordanian film about an elderly contractor, Ahmad, who had to spend three months behind bars for being convicted of a minor fraud.

Produced by director, Mahmoud Al Massad, the film is based on a real life event experienced by someone he has known for decades.

The film contains comic elements as Ahmad finds himself happier and more comfortable in prison than in his life outside prison. The film is ultimately an ironic take on life where blessings come in unexpected places and reminds us that silver linings do exist.

5. Al-Hayba

al-hayba

Dialect: North Levantine Arabic

Synopsis: Al-Hayba is a Lebanese-Syrian drama series that has gained enormous popularity since its debut during Ramadan 2017.

The series revolves around a historic feud between two major fictional clans located in the Al-Hayba village near the Syrian border.

Central themes of power struggles and family tension dominate the entire series.

Although there are three seasons as of writing, only the first season is picked up by Netflix. Levantine Arabic leaners who are interested to watch the remaining two seasons will have to watch them via other means where English subtitles may not be available.

6. The Writer

The Writer

Dialect: North Levantine Arabic

Synopsis: The Writer or otherwise known as “Al-Kateb” is a thrilling drama series that features both prominent Syrian and Lebanese actors.

The story revolves around a famous crime novelist’s murder accusation. The plot thickens when real-life events start to eerily resemble the plot of his own novel.

All in all, the drama series is intriguing.

However, with 30 full episodes, Levantine Arabic learners should take their time watching instead of binging through them.

7. Tango

Tango

Dialect: North Levantine Arabic

Synopsis: Tango is a Lebanese-Syrian drama series that revolve around betrayal and hidden secrets.

A fatal car crash and the resulting revelation of infidelities that involve the victims end up threatening the friendship of four best friends.

This is a suspenseful romantic film that will surely keep you watching at the edge of your seat.

8. Dollar

Dollar

Dialect:** Lebanese Arabic

Synopsis: Released in August 2019, Dollar is the most recent addition of drama series in Levantine Arabic on Netflix.

In addition, the show is the first Netflix’s original show to come out of Lebanon.

The story follows two bank employees’ journey in their quest to rig the system and chase a dollar bill with a specific serial number.

After all, in a bid to promote the opening of a new bank, the dollar bill will be put into circulation and whoever who has it will win a million dollars.

Although the lead couples has on-screen chemistry between them, the show can be slow-paced at times.

9. Very Big Shot

very big shot

Dialect: North Levantine Arabic

Synopsis: Very Big Shot which original title is “Kteer Kbeer” is an award winning Lebanese film about three brothers who participate in a small drug-dealing business.

When the brothers decide to call quits, the drug lord persuades them to carry out one last job and with the help of a filmmaker, they hatch a plan to transport a large amount of drugs across the border.

The film is a dark comedy with superb storytelling and it is a definite must watch.

Levantine Arabic stand-up comedies

10. Adel Karam: Live from Beirut

Adel Karam

Dialect: Lebanese Arabic

Synopsis: Adel Karam is a well-known Lebanese actor and comedian.

In this Netflix comedy special, Adel Karam does not hold back as he delivers bold yet humorous punchlines about social issues and recounts personal experiences.

Intermediate and advanced Levantine Arabic learners should challenge themselves by watching this show and see how much can be understood without looking at the subtitles.

Furthermore, the Arabic subtitles provided by Netflix is in Spoken Arabic and therefore, learners can always check out the subtitles for the parts they cannot understand.

Through hurting jaws and aching stomachs, Levantine Arabic students will gain insights into the common stereotypes pervasive in the Arab society.

Best Arabic language documentaries to learn the language from

11. The White Helmets

White Helmets

Dialect: Syrian Arabic

Synopsis: This 40 minutes long documentary is about a Syrian volunteer rescue group also known as the “White Helmets”.

The show follows the group’s rescue operations in rebel held parts of the country as they provide civilians with emergency assistance and search for survivors amid the rubbles.

Their acts has garnered international attention and the documentary even took home an Oscar for Best Documentary Short in 2017.

Despite controversies surrounding the allegations about the group’s impartiality, Arabic learners can still get a glimpse of what is happening on the ground and gain insights into the Syrian civil war.

12. Born In Syria

Born In Syria

Dialect: Syrian Arabic

Synopsis: Born In Syria is a documentary about the arduous journeys of seven Syrian child refugees across Europe in search for a better life.

The story follows them from the time they arrive in Greece till they reach Western Europe where they have to find ways to integrate into a new society with different cultures and languages.

All in all, the harsh realities of those fleeing from the Syrian civil war are painstakingly documented in this award-winning film.

Arabic students who are interested to learn more about the Syrian war should definitely give this documentary a watch.

13. Speed Sisters

Speed Sisters

Dialect: Palestinian Arabic

Synopsis: Speed Sisters is a documentary about the first all-female Middle Eastern race car driving team hailing from the occupied West Bank.

In the film, four women bonded by their love for car racing open up about their lives on and off the road.

Remarkably fearless driving skills were demonstrated as the sisters reveal various obstacles they have to face such as society judgements, military checkpoints, and the lack of practice space.

Ultimately, this inspiring film is about not being afraid to break stereotypes and the courage to chase after your dreams.

14. Born In Gaza

Born In Gaza

Dialect: Palestinian Arabic

Synopsis: Born In Gaza is a documentary produced by the same director, Hernan Zin, who directed “Born In Syria”.

The film follows the journey of a group of young children as they grow up in Gaza, a place infamously labelled as the world’s largest open-air prison.

Arabic students interested in the Israel-Palestine conflict should watch this documentary as it reveals the violence of the conflict and its devastating effects on the children of Gaza.

Best shows to learn Arabic from?

As you can see, there are some excellent shows in Levantine Arabic that are available to watch on Netflix.

The best part is that the list will only get longer as the years go on.

Don’t forget to leave a comment and tell us your absolute favourite show you’ve seen and the show that you’re hoping to watch next.

Happy watching and learning. 🙂

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Donovan Nagel - B. Th, MA AppLing
I'm an Applied Linguistics graduate, teacher and translator with a passion for language learning (especially Arabic).
Currently learning: Icelandic

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Larry Stern

Please don't forget "The Insult", an interesting and powerful film in Levantine Arabic (subtitled).

Regards,
Larry

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world."
- Ludwig Wittgenstein