Al-Shamshoon (partially lost Arabic adaptation of "The Simpsons" Fox animated sitcom; 2005)

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The adaptation's title card

Status: Partially Lost

Al-Shamshoon (Arabic: الشمشون) was an adaptation of the long-running American TV sitcom The Simpsons adapted for a Middle-Eastern audiences.[1] Al-Shamshoon was produced by the Saudi owned media company Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC) with the first episode airing in 2005. In order to better suit a Middle-Eastern audience and to meet the guidelines of various Middle-Eastern governments, many changes were made to the series. These changes would actually end up being so drastic that it caused the series to have a short run due to low viewership. While 52 episodes of Al-Shamshoon were made, only 34 aired leaving 18 unaired episodes currently lost.


The Simpsons airs in numerous countries with numerous cultural changes in order to fit the standards of the country in which it is airing in. Prior to the production of Al-Shamshoon, The Simpsons aired on networks in the Middle-East such as Showtime Arabia and Dubai's One TV in English with Arabic subtitles. The Simpsons was very popular among viewers in the Middle-East and in order to capitalize on its growing popularity, Saudi owned media company Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC) produced its dub and take on The Simpsons.


Al-Shamshoon aired on the first night of the Islamic holiday of Ramadan on October 4, 2005. A lot of very noticeable changes were made to the show in order to better fit the Middle Eastern region. Among these changes The Simpsons include name changes, the character Homer not drinking beer, all references to Moe's Tavern were edited out, the removal of references to Judaism, the elimination of certain characters, Springfield changed to Rabeea, the church became a mosque, and references to bacon were edited out.[2] In order to be effective "Arabized," the showrunners only worked with certain episodes. They opted to start with season 4, skipping the early seasons, and adapted popular episodes like "Cape Feare." Several early episodes, notably "Homer the Heretic" (which details Homer's dismissal of church and foundation of his own religion after an epiphany) were not adapted.[3]

Many viewers found the changes made to Al-Shamshoon to be just too different and not funny. On top of that, many people in the Middle East see cartoons, as aimed towards kids, who did not see a reason to watch Al-Shamshoon. Due to massive criticism from viewers and even from executive producer John Swartzwelder,[4] Al-Shamshoon was pulled from air after thirty-four episodes.


Due to the series not being well-received, Al-Shamshoon has never been released onto home media internationally, though there ay have been reports that it did receive a home media release in certain Arabic states and countries.[5] As of October 2023, the first 29 episodes of the series are available at the internet archive and various streaming sites that has it on their catalog.


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29 Found
30 Lost
31 Lost
32 Lost
33 Lost
34 Lost
35 Lost Unaired
36 Lost Unaired
37 Lost Unaired
38 Lost Unaired
39 Lost Unaired
40 Lost Unaired
41 Lost Unaired
42 Lost Unaired
43 Lost Unaired
44 Lost Unaired
45 Lost Unaired
46 Lost Unaired
47 Lost Unaired
48 Lost Unaired
49 Lost Unaired
50 Lost Unaired
51 Lost Unaired
52 Lost Unaired


ABC News report on Al-Shamshoon.

See Also

External Links