Posted by: Sarah Standish | March 5, 2012

Arabic TV shows

Some Arabic 1-2 students recently requested that I link to some Arabic TV shows.  Here’s two:

1) عصي الدمع

This Syrian soap opera, whose title might be translated as “Unable to Cry,” is one of my favorites.  It’s a social drama that follows a female Syrian lawyer as she struggles to earn respect for her work rather than just her good looks–as well as a host of other characters, including another female lawyer whose struggle against corruption in the judicial system eventually leads her to divorce her husband and a moderate Islamist lawyer who fights with his mother over her conservative interpretations of Islam.  Some characters in عصي الدمع go with what society wants, while others struggle against it–and sometimes end up paying a heavy price.  Dialogue takes place in the Syrian (Damascene) dialect.

Here’s the first episode:

The second episode is available here and the third one here.

2) ذاكرة الجسد

This TV show is a serial adaptation of the best-selling Algerian novel Memory in the Flesh by Ahlam Mostaghanemi, which traces the one-sided love affair between a one-armed former revolutionary fighter and a young Algerian woman he meets in Paris.  His infatuation and subsequent disillusionment work as a metaphor for his feelings toward the arc of Algerian post-colonial history.  At Lincoln, Mr. Carr’s junior IB English class is reading Chaos of the Senses, a sequel to Memory in the Flesh.  This is one of the few TV shows I have seen that really make dialogue in Modern Standard Arabic work well.

Watch the first episode here (and scroll down to click on subsequent episodes).


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