Pokémon in the Arab world

(Redirected from Pokémon in the Arab World)
Pokémon in the Arab world
Pokémon logo Arabic Netflix.png
The Arab world Flag.png
Flag of the Arab League
Language Arabic
Continent Arab world
Original anime airdates
EP001 September 2000
AG001 December 24, 2005
DP001 Never aired
BW001 Never aired
XY001 Never aired
SM001 Never aired
JN001 February 27, 2021
July 1, 2021
HZ001

The Pokémon franchise widely reached the Arab world in late 2000, with the first broadcast of بوكيمون، لقد اخترتك انت! in Arabic language on the television channel MBC. It's worth noting that, to date, none of the Pokémon video games have received official Arabic translations or releases from Nintendo in the region. Nevertheless, copies of the games imported from the United States and Europe were distributed in various places, particularly within the GCC countries, as early as 1998.

Upon its initial run, the franchise was a huge commercial success in the region, but later became the subject of a major controversy regarding the TCG and the anime.

The first couple of seasons of the anime were dubbed in Syria, while later seasons were dubbed in Lebanon.

Currently the anime is available on Netflix with new episodes of Pokémon Journeys: The Series being released.

Localization

 
Old logo

The word Pokémon is written as بوكيمون and pluralized as بوكيمونات. Pokémon are always referred to as either male or female, since Arabic has no neutral grammatical gender.

While almost all characters, Pokémon, and most of the locations have kept their English names in the Arabic version, some objects in the franchise received Arabic names. The Poké Ball, for example, has been dubbed as كرة البوكي (Kurt Al-Poké), the Poké Flute received the name مزمار البوكي (Mizmar Al-Poké) and so on. One of the Arabic names that is different from the English dub is Team Rocket, which has been translated as: عصابة الرداء الأبيض 'isabat Ar-Redda Al-Abiadh. Additionally, the name of Pallet Town got translated as قرية شورباك Qaryat Shoreback.

Controversy

Promoting "unislamic" values

 
A flyer warning against the Pokémon franchise, depicting Pokémon names and their supposed translation from Hebrew. These types of flyers were handed out by several fundamentalist Muslim groups in schools and mosques.

Similar to the Pokémania phenomenon experienced in America, the introduction of the Pokémon franchise to the Arab world in 2000 resulted in an unprecedented surge in popularity, almost reaching the status of a cultural phenomenon. Quickly, stores were inundated with a variety of Pokémon products, and the anime series rapidly found its way onto television stations in every country across the region.

Amidst this heightened interest in the Pokémon series, some parents and schoolteachers started to express concerns regarding children’s overattachment to the series while others began to criticize the franchise's commercial nature, assessing that it mostly encourages children into spending their money on toys, trading cards, and various other related products. The franchise was then accused of promoting "unislamic values" such as violence, but most importantly gambling,[1] as well as anti-creationism ideology: the theory of evolution and survival of the fittest with some accusing the series of trying to promote Atheism among Muslim youth, meanwhile rumors started spreading that the Pokémon names in the series were in fact Hebrew words meant to insult Islam and that the franchise is a part of a Zionist conspiracy. Several media outlets started reporting these stories and from there the controversy escalated, soon after Pokémon products especially the TCG started to get banned in schools while several TV stations took the anime off air as the franchise was blacklisted.

The whole controversy gained major public attention to the point that the Japanese embassy in Saudi Arabia and Nintendo had to issue a statement explaining the Japanese origins of the franchise and denying any relation to any political or religious ideology.[2][3]

The origin of the controversy remains unknown, but several industry insiders theorize that a certain rival company who was trying to conquer the toys and merchandise market in the Middle East, might have felt threatened by the popularity of the Pokémon franchise and might have had a hand in escalating the controversy and lobbying for the ban. Regardless, all of this remains speculations as there is no substantial evidence to these allegations.

Claims of Zionist Jewish plot

Some outspoken, fundamentalist Muslims claimed that Pokémon is a Jewish conspiracy intended to get Muslim children to renounce their faith.[4][5][6][7] These same groups claimed that the word "Pokémon" means "I am Jewish", with the claimers and their followers generally unaware of the franchise's Japanese origin. The "Evolution vs. Creationism" conflict was also commonly brought up.[8][9][10]

In 2001, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, who is the highest religious authority in the kingdom, issued a fatwā banning the Pokémon franchise. It claimed that the franchise promoted Zionism by displaying a six-pointed star that resembles the Star of David as well as other religious symbols such as crosses they associated with Christianity and triangles they associated with Freemasonry in the TCG and encouraged gambling in the games due to the inclusion of gambling elements, which is in violation of Muslim doctrine.[11][12]

High Muslim authorities in Qatar and Egypt then joined the ban. As this happened during the second Intifada, a Jordanian newspaper printed a caricature of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon sitting in a tank and laughing at an Arab man chasing a Pokémon. This is meant to convey that Arabs are distracted from their conflict with the Israelis by popular franchises, with Pokémon as an example of such "distractions."[13][14]

Despite the initial banning, which quickly wiped away Pokémon merchandise, especially the card game, from markets in Saudi Arabia, Pokémon video games quickly returned to be sold normally, but under much less demand from local consumers. Some Pokémon merchandise, such as the Expedition Base Set, reappeared in certain stores a few years later, but newer sets were never brought. Games from Generation III on seem completely unaffected by the ban.

A fatwā was also issued in the U.A.E. emirate of Dubai, however no bans officially occurred.[15] Although the U.A.E. takes its Islamic identity seriously like most Arab states, actions based solely on fatwā would however violate its federal constitution. Regardless of this, the licensed local distributor ceased importing Pokémon cards into the U.A.E. until the early 2010s, when the TCG experienced a resurgence among local players. In 2016, the U.A.E. became the first Arab country to be officially sanctioned by The Pokémon Company International to hold official Play! Pokémon events.

Pokémon video games

Before the earliest Pokémon games, Nintendo's products did not have much presence in any Arab country, as most countries faced various political and economical challenges that made them unattractive markets at the time. Throughout the 1980s, most demographics considered 8-bit home computer products a preferable choice for gaming before their gradual decline. However, by the early 1990s, as particular economies in the GCC countries thrived, various independent distributors based in those countries pushed to introduce gaming consoles after becoming hot and competitive commodities in Western markets, including Nintendo's products. Albeit the video game market grew in the GCC countries, for many years there was little effort for standardization among distributors and retailers, causing a discrepancy as both PAL and NTSC hardware and software were sold off the same shelves. Consequently, by the time Pokémon Red and Blue launched the first time in 1998, units available were imported from both Europe and North America. To this day, Nintendo-published products, including Pokémon video games, remain the only gaming products to be imported from both regions into the GCC, despite other publishers focused on importing units solely from Europe.

Nintendo have long considered the GCC markets as part of the greater Asia, thus officially opting to localise NTSC-U North American (NA) products for these markets de jure by the late 1990s, albeit both PAL and NTSC[16] Nintendo products de facto continued to co-exist. Itochu Corporation's Dubai branch was originally assigned to officially distribute Nintendo's NA products within the GCC markets,[17] before ending its collaboration in 2000. By the early 2000s, Active Boeki, distributor for Southeast Asian countries, gradually took over NA distribution duties, albeit it took a while to release Pokémon games due to the controversy against the franchise after the 2001 fatwā was issued against it. No official bans against the games were made however in any country. Working alongside the local resellers, in 2010 Active Boeki founded Dubai-based affiliate Active Gulf to represent them alongside Nintendo and The Pokémon Company within the GCC markets. Albeit the NA Wii and Nintendo DS hardware did have localized packaging made for the U.A.E., the NA Nintendo 3DS became the first Nintendo console officially released under Active Gulf, and it launched in all GCC countries on the same day as the United States in March 2011. However, it was not until the NA launch of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire became the first Pokémon games authorized by The Pokémon Company to be distributed specifically by Active Boeki for the GCC and Southeast Asian markets.

In August 2016, the GCAM introduced the official video game age rating system for Saudi Arabia; Pokémon Sun and Moon were the first Pokémon games released under Saudi Arabia's official age rating, although Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon were the first to feature the age rating hard-printed on the case cover. In January 2018, the NMC introduced the official video game age rating system for the United Arab Emirates; Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! were the first Pokémon games released under the U.A.E.'s official age rating. In 2021, most of the NMC's functions were taken over by the Media Regulatory Office. Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl became the first games to be rated by the MRO.

In the 1990s, Nintendo Co., Ltd. were involved with distribution in Africa,[18] although did not particularly focus on the Arab countries. In 2002, Nintendo of Europe took on executive control to supply Nintendo's PAL products for various low-key distributors within the GCC and other Arab countries in the Levant region and Egypt. In the case of the latter two, the markets remain mixed for gaming in general, let alone Nintendo and Pokémon, due to on-going political and economical challenges. Regardless, NOE continues to import its products into all these countries to this day.

Pokémon anime

The Arabic dub

Production

 
Venus Center logo.

The Arabic dub of Pokémon is based on 4Kids Entertainment's English dub, the anime was initially dubbed to Arabic in 2000 by Syria-based Venus Center (مركز الزهرة), and licensed in the region by Km Productions. But due to the controversy in 2001, Venus Center (which is known for being a very conservative company) no longer wanted to be associated with the Pokémon franchise, and ceased production after Season 02. Km Productions then moved the dubbing to their own studios in Lebanon.

 
Super M Productions and KM Productions logos.

After that Lebanon-based Super M Productions took over dubbing the anime starting with EP106, and dubbed Season 03 and Season 04 between 2001 and 2002. Production on the dub then went on hiatus for nearly 3 years and was resumed in 2005 when they dubbed Season 06 starting with EP263, Season 05 (Master Quest) (EP210 to EP262) was skipped for unknown reasons.

Production on the dub was eventually canceled around 2006 due to various reasons, mostly due to 4Kids Entertainment losing the dubbing rights, and the Lebanese company not coming to an agreement with the new rights holders.[19]

Sometime later the four Pokémon movies that were distributed by Miramax (Celebi: The Voice of the Forest, Heroes: Latios & Latias, Jirachi: Wish Maker and Destiny Deoxys) were also dubbed into Arabic, but featured an entirely different cast of voice actors from the series and were released straight-to-DVD.[20][21]

 
IPH Studios logo.

In 2019 after acquiring the distribution rights of the anime in the region, Netflix revived the Arabic dub of Pokémon, and released Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution, the first new Pokémon-related media dubbed into Arabic in over a decade. Netflix later released seasons 23 to 25, Pokémon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle, The Arceus Chronicles and Pokémon Concierge.

The new dub was produced in Lebanon by Image Production House Studios (partners of Iyuno-SDI Group),[22][23][24] and featured some old voice actors from the Super M production reprising their roles, to preserve continuity, it was this particular reason that played a pivotal role in influencing Netflix's decision to produce the dub in Lebanon.[25]

Dubbed seasons
# Season Dubbing Studio Distribution Dubbed episodes
Season 01 Pokémon: Indigo Leage Venus Center KM Productions 52
Season 02 Pokémon: Adventures in the Orange Islands Venus Center KM Productions 52
Season 03 Super M Productions KM Productions 11 (part of S03)
Pokémon: The Johto Journeys Super M Productions KM Productions 41
Season 04 Pokémon: Johto League Champions Super M Productions KM Productions 52
Season 05 Pokémon: Master Quest The first 52 episodes were not dubbed
Season 06 Super M Productions KM Productions The last 12 episodes only (part of S06)
Pokémon: Advanced Super M Productions KM Productions 40
Season 07 Pokémon: Advanced Challenge Super M Productions KM Productions 52
Seasons 08 to 22 were not dubbed
Season 23 Pokémon Journeys: The Series Image Production House Studios Netflix 48
Season 24 Pokémon Master Journeys: The Series Image Production House Studios Netflix 42
Season 25 Pokémon Ultimate Journeys: The Series Image Production House Studios Netflix 54
Pokémon Horizons: The Series Pokémon Horizons: The Series Netflix 45
Dubbed Movies
 
Miramax International logo which appears before the opening scene of the movies.
 
Miramax Films logo also appears before the opening scene.
Movie Dubbing Studio Distribution
Pokémon 4Ever - Celebi: The Voice of the Forest Unknown Miramax International
Pokémon Heroes: Latios & Latias Unknown Miramax International
Pokémon: Jirachi: Wish Maker Unknown Miramax International
Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys Unknown Miramax International
Pokémon: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution Image Production House Studios Netflix
Pokémon the Movie: Secrets of the Jungle Image Production House Studios Netflix
Pokémon: The Arceus Chronicles Image Production House Studios Netflix

Edits

Venus Center's censorship

Much like 4Kids Entertainment's tendency to edit some parts of the anime to make it more appropriate for the American audience, Venus Center also adopts a similar approach by modifying their works to cater to a Muslim audience. This typically involves the removal or alteration of scenes featuring any sort of display of affection or partial nudity, as well as scenes depicting any non Islamic religious symbolism like the Christian cross.

 
Misty holding a Christian cross in EP020, one of the many scenes that were removed in the original broadcast of the episode.

The prime example of this censorship is EP020, where the entire plot of the episode was altered by creating new storylines to avoid elements related to the supernatural and the mention of ghosts and other aspects of Japanese mythology with several scenes being cut completely, another example is EP022 where one scene was removed because it featured a character holding a card that had a six-pointed star that resembles the Star of David, this resulted in these two episodes being re-dubbed when S01 was added to Netflix in 2017.

Due to the conservative nature of the culture, the Arab audience deems all forms of affection and romance as inappropriate, particularly in children's programming. Consequently, Brock’s interactions with female characters such as Nurse Joy and Officer Jenny are often cut or dubbed into a normal conversation without him displaying any kind of romantic interest, because Netflix only adds the Arabic dub as a secondary audio track to the English episode, these edits are very easily noticeable, as there are several scenes where Brock's mouth is moving but the dialogue is not dubbed instead one of the other characters is speaking. This type of censorship can also be seen in other episodes such as EP070, EP100 and EP103.

In contrast to Venus Center's dub, Super M Productions' dub remained remarkably faithful to the English version, with the dialogue being translated almost word for word, and even the voice actors were instructed to imitate the performance of the American actors when delivering their lines.

Reception, criticism and eventual cancellation

  This article contains fan speculation.
There is no solid evidence for or against some parts of this article.

While the anime itself received an overall positive reception during its initial broadcast, the dub, however, both the Syrian and the Lebanese versions received a somewhat lukewarm reception.

Some fans expressed disappointment over Venus Center's dub claiming it was not the same quality as the studio's other works, this criticism wasn't only directed towards the often unnecessary censorship but also specifically towards the mispronunciation of some of the Pokémon names in the series as well as other foreign words like the names of different cities and towns that were visited in each episode, some fans suggest that the studio purposefully "simplified" some of the Pokémon names to become easier for Arab children to pronounce, some examples of this include Pikachu who was only referred to as Pika in the first few episodes, Goldeen which became simply Golden and Squirtle who was called Square, while others speculated that it was the actors who had a difficulty in pronouncing foreign words that contain letters that aren't part of the Arabic alphabet like the letter P and the letter G in words like the title itself which became Bokemon, Pallet Town which received a completely new name village of Shorebak, some pokemon names such as Growlithe which was pronounced Ghroolithe, Togepi pronounced Toojebi and Lapras which was pronounced Labraas.

The Lebanese dub, on the other hand, received heavy criticism from fans, despite retaining the story's integrity and proper pronunciation. The criticism was pointed towards the casting choices, as the majority of fans felt most of the new actors didn't fit the roles that they were given and didn't capture the essence of the characters as well as the previous cast. It's most likely that this negative reception to the new dub combined with the fact that most of the newer episodes airing being filler episodes (and the overall controversy related to the franchise) factored in the series' drastic drop in popularity.

Financial constraints, with the series being banned on most TV stations, led the studio to prioritize other more profitable projects. Additionally, The Pokémon Company International, who probably felt that there was no need to distribute the anime series in the Middle East as Pokémon toys and merchandise were either not selling very well or were outright completely banned in some countries, led to both parties not renewing the series, resulting in the Arabic dub discontinuing after Season 07.

Cast and crew

Venus Center

 
Buthaina Shaya, the original voice actress for Ash in S01 and S02.

Ash Ketchum was voiced by Buthaina Shaya (بثينة شيا), Misty was voiced by Majd Zhazha (مجد ظاظا), and Rafat Bazoo (رأفت بازو) provided the voice of Brock. For Team Rocket, James was voiced by Zeyad Errafae'ie (زياد الرفاعي), Jessie was voiced by Fatima Saad (فاطمة سعد), and Meowth was voiced by Adel Abo Hassoon (عادل أبو حسون). Professor Oak was voiced by Marwan Farhat (مروان فرحات). Other notable voice actors include Amal Saad Alden (امال سعد الدين) as Nurse Joy and Fadwa Souleimane (فدوى سليمان) as Officer Jenny.

 
Marwan Farhat
  • Technical setup: Hanna Yusuf (حنا يوسف)
  • Revision: Shafeeq Bitar (شفيق بيطار)
  • Proofreading: Dr. Hamoud Younis (د.حمود يونس)
  • Sound Engineer: Nadeem Souleimane (نديم سليمان)
  • Mixing: Louis Abu Asali (لويس أبو عسلي)
  • Montage: Hassan Ateka (حسان عاتكة), Mustafa Qalaaji (مصطفى قلعجي)
  • Engineering Supervision: Ramez Torjoman (رامز ترجمان)
  • Computer: Muhammad Mazen Ramadan (محمد مازن رمضان), Fahed Najem (فهد نجم)
  • Theme Song Lyrics: Rasha Rizk (رشا رزق)
  • Theme Song Performance: Tarek Alarabi Tourgane (طارق العربي طرقان), Bassam Al-Hassouni (بسام الحسوني)
  • Administrative coordination: Imad Al-Sheikh Khalid (عماد الشيخ خالد)
  • Financial Tracking: Muhammad Hassan Muhanna (محمد حسان مهنا), Abdulqader Nabhan (عبد القادر نبهان)
  • Assistant Director: Mayada Auda (ميادة عودة)
  • Production manager: Redwan Hejazy (رضوان حجازي)
  • General supervision: Mannaa Hijazi (مناع حجازي)
  • Technical supervision: Maamoon Al-Rifai (مأمون الرفاعي)

Super M Productions

 
Abdo Hakim, voice actor for James in the Lebanese dub, he also voiced Max and other minor characters.

The team of voice actors was led by Jihad Al Attrash (جهاد الأطرش ) who played the role of the Narrator and provided the voice of the Pokédex, Ash Ketchum was voiced by Mona Majzoub (منى مجذوب), Misty was voiced by Joumana Zonji (جمانة الزنجي) and Nabil Assaf (نبيل عساف) provided the voice of Brock. For Team Rocket, Jessie was voiced by Claudia Marchalian (كلوديا مرشليان), James was voiced by Abdo Hakim (عبدو حكيم) and Meowth was voiced by Hasan Hamdan (حسن حمدان).

 
Jihan Malla provided the voice for Nurse Joy as well as several one time characters, she also wrote and recorded Pikachu's Jukebox and Pokémon Karaokémon songs for Super M productions.

Other notable voice actors include: Tariq Kaakati (طارق كعكاتي), Iman Bitar (إيمان بيطار), Fadi Rifai (فادي الرفاعي), Jihan Malla (جيهان مّلا), Naji Shamil (ناجي شامل), Ismail Nanoua (إسماعيل نعنوع ), Wissam Sabbagh (وسام صباغ) and Jamal Hamdan (جمال حمدان).

  • Computer: Jalal Masoud (جلال مسعود)
  • Montage and mixing: Jamal Mokalled (جمال مقلد)
  • Executive: Mohsen Awada (محسن عواضة)
  • Technical supervision: Walid Merie (وليد مرعي)
  • General supervision: Mufid Merie (مفيد مرعي).[27]

By the time the production on the dub of S06 started in 2005, many actors had either left the company or already had commitments working on other projects, therefore some characters such as Ash, Misty and Meowth received new voice actors.

Netflix

 
Hasan Hamdan reprises his role as Meowth, he last voiced the character in Season 04.

Several cast members from Super M Productions return to their roles: Joumana Zonji as Misty, Abdo Hakim as James, Hassan Hamdan as Meowth, Jihan Malla as Nurse Joy and Iman Bitar as Officer Jenny.

 
Rana Al Rifai, current voice actress for Ash.

With new voice actors: Rana Al Rifai (رنا رفاعي) as Ash Ketchum, Hisham Abu Suleiman (هشام أبو سليمان) as Brock, Asmahan Bitar (أسمهان بيطار) as Jessie, Lama Maraachli (لمى مرعشلي) as Goh, Ghadir Bazzi (غدير بزي) as Chloe with Raymond Francis (ريمون فرنسيس) as The Narrator and Fadi Rifai (فادي الرفاعي) now as Professor Cerise.

Other notable voice actors include: Sam Ghusen (سام غصن) as Mewtwo, Ibrahim Madi (إبراهيم ماضي) as Giovanni, Osama Oley (أسامة العلي) as Dr. Fuji, Rania Mroueh (رانيا مروة) as Koko, Ali Saad (علي سعد) as Dada and Mahdi Fakhreddin (مهدي فخر الدين) as Dr. Zed.

  • Translation: Marie Thérèse Ghaya (ماري تيريز غيا)
  • Dialogue Director: Rana Barakat (رنا بركات) (M22), Alaa Bitar (علاء بيطار) (S23-S24), Ghadir Bazzi (غدير بزي) (M23, The Arceus Chronicles), Samir Fahd (سمير فهد) (S25, Pokémon Concierge)

Cast members

 
Jihad Al Attrash
 
Fadi Rifai voiced multiple Characters of the day in the Original series before taking over the role of the Narrator in the Advanced Generation series, he currently voices Professor Cerise in Pokémon Journeys.
 
Fatima Saad, Voice actress for Jessie in the Syrian dub.
 
Amal Saad Eddin
 
Zeyad Errafae'ie
 
Majd Zhazha, voice actress for Misty in the Syrian dub.
 
Joumana Zonji, voice actress for Misty in the Lebanese dub.
 
Iman Bitar voiced multiple characters throughout the series, most notably Officer Jenny and May.
 
Asmahan Bitar voices Jessie and Cynthia in Pokémon Journeys: The Series.
 
Lama Maraachli voice actress for Goh.
 
Souhair Naser El Deen
 
Ibrahim Madi‎
 
Hassan Hamdan
Characters Venus Center
 
(EP001-EP105)
Super M Productions
 
(EP106-EP209, EP263-AG092)
Miramax
 
(M04-M07)
Netflix
 
(EP020;EP022 redub
M22-M23, JN001-JN147 and The Arceus Chronicles)
 
The Narrator
Marwan Farhat (مروان فرحات) Jihad Al Attrash (جهاد الأطرش)(EP106-EP209)
Fadi Rifai (فادي الرفاعي)(EP263-AG092)
Pierre Dagher (بيير داغر) Raymond Francis (ريمون فرنسيس)
 
Ash Ketchum
Buthaina Shaya (بثينة شيا) Mona Majzoub (منى مجذوب)(EP106-EP209)
Unknown voice actress(EP263-AG092)
Unknown voice actor Rana Al Rifai (رنا الرفاعي)
 
Misty
Majd Zhazha (مجد ظاظا) Joumana Zonji (جمانة الزنجي)(EP106-EP209) Joumana Zonji (جمانة الزنجي)
 
Brock
Rafat Bazoo (رأفت بازو) Nabil Assaf (نبيل عساف) Unknown voice actor Hicham Abou Sleiman (هشام أبو سليمان)(M22)
Gilles Youssif (جيل يوسف)(JNS02-JN147)
 
Tracey Sketchit
Ayman Al-Salek (أيمن السالك) Tariq Kaakati (طارق كعكاتي)
 
May
Iman Bitar (إيمان بيطار) Unknown voice actress
 
Max
Abdo Hakim (عبدو حكيم) Unknown voice actor
 
Dawn
Iman Bitar (إيمان بيطار)
 
Goh
Lama Maraachli (لمى مرعشلي)
 
Chloe
Ghadir Bazzi (غدير بزي)
 
Jessie
Fatima Saad (فاطمة سعد) Claudia Marchalian (كلوديا مرشليان)(EP106-EP157) Unknown voice actress Asmahan Bitar (أسمهان بيطار)
 
James
Zeyad Errafae'ie (زياد الرفاعي) Abdo Hakim (عبدو حكيم) Unknown voice actor Abdo Hakim (عبدو حكيم)
 
Meowth
Adel Abo Hassoon (عادل أبو حسون) Hasan Hamdan (حسن حمدان)(EP106-EP209) Unknown voice actor Hasan Hamdan (حسن حمدان)
 
Nurse Joy
Amal Saad Alden (امال سعد الدين) Jihan Malla (جيهان ملا) Jihan Malla (جيهان ملا)
 
Officer Jenny
Fadwa Souleimane (فدوى سليمان) Iman Bitar (إيمان بيطار) Unknown voice actress Iman Bitar (إيمان بيطار)
 
Professor Oak*
Marwan Farhat (مروان فرحات) Ismail Nanoua (إسماعيل نعنوع) Saad Hamdan (سعد حمدان)
 
Gary Oak
Amal Saad Alden (امال سعد الدين) Wissam Sabbagh (وسام صباغ) Fadi Abboud (فادي عبود)
 
Delia Ketchum
Anjy Al-Yousif (أنجي اليوسف) Iman Bitar (إيمان بيطار) Souhair Naser El Deen (سهير ناصر الدين)
 
Ritchie
Fadwa Souleimane (فدوى سليمان)
 
Todd Snap
Amal Saad Alden (امال سعد الدين)
 
Giovanni
Rafat Bazoo (رأفت بازو) Ismail Nanoua (إسماعيل نعنوع) Ibrahim Madi (إبراهيم ماضي)
 
Butch
Marwan Farhat (مروان فرحات) Tariq Kaakati (طارق كعكاتي)
 
Cassidy
Fadwa Souleimane (فدوى سليمان) Diana Ibrahim (ديانا إبراهيم) Silhouette Houdaeib (سيلوات حديب)
 
Mewtwo
Sam Ghusen (سام غصن)
 
Professor Cerise
Fadi Rifai (فادي الرفاعي)
 
Chrysa
Leila Shammas (ليلى شماس)
 
Ren
Ghassan Haddad (غسان حداد)
 
Leon
Hassan Hamdan (حسان حمدان)
 
Bea
Silhouette Houdaeib (سيلوات حديب)
 
Raihan
 
Lance
Imad Feghaly (عماد فغالي)
 
Steven Stone
Shadi Shammas (شادي شمص)
 
Cynthia
Asmahan Bitar (أسمهان بيطار)
 
Iris
Iman Bitar (إيمان بيطار)
 
Diantha
Dalia Khalifeh (داليا خليفة)
 
Alain
Fadi Abboud (فادي عبود)
 
Horace
Souhair Naser El Deen (سهير ناصر الدين)
 
Danika
Souhair Naser El Deen (سهير ناصر الدين)
 
Quillon
Ghassan Haddad (غسان حداد)

History of the broadcast

Season Original broadcaster Time slot Debut episode Final episode Episodes Reruns/Syndication
Pokémon: Indigo League MBC Daily at 12pm GMT  
!بوكيمون، لقد اخترتك انت
2000
 
مركز تدريب البوكيمونات
2000
52 Qatar TV
Television Algérienne
2M
ART Teenz
ART Ein
Several other TV stations
Pokémon: Adventures in the Orange Islands MBC Daily at 12pm GMT  
نجمة مهرجان التسوق
2000/2001
 
تجمد تشاريزارد
2000/2001
52 Several TV stations
Pokémon: The Johto Journeys ART Teenz Daily at 5pm KSA time/ 2pm GMT  
حرب البوكيمون المائية
2001
 
البحث عن الشهرة
2001/2002
52 Several TV stations
Pokémon: Johto League Champions ART Teenz Daily at 5pm KSA time/ 2pm GMT  
فرصة ذهبية
January 1, 2003
 
البوكيمون ماتشوك
2003
52 New TV
Al Andalus TV
2M
ART Ein
Pokémon: Master Quest None None Unaired Unaired None None
Pokémon: Advanced New TV
ART Teenz
Daily at 6:30am Lebanon time*
Daily at 10pm KSA time/ 7pm GMT*
 
الانون المجهول
December 10, 2005*
September 24, 2006*
 
AG040
2006
52 New TV (2006)
ART Teenz (2006-2007)
2M* (2010)
Pokémon: Advanced Challenge New TV Daily at 6:30am Lebanon time  
AG041
 
AG092
52 None
رحلة البوكيمون: المسلسل e-Junior TV
Netflix
Thursday to Saturday 4:35pm UAE time (e-Junior)  
!دخول بيكاتشو
July 1, 2021*
 
!النجاة بأعجوبة
July 1, 2021*
48 An unauthorized broadcast on several satellite channels
رحلة سيد البوكيمون: المسلسل Netflix  
!أن نتدرب أو لا نتدرب
September 2, 2022
 
‏مواجهة عند بوابات وورب!‏
September 2, 2022
42
‎رحلة البوكيمون القصوى: المسلسل Netflix  
!القطار الشبح
November 24, 2023
 
!إنها بداية شيء مهم
November 24, 2023
42
‎بوكيمون: أن تكون سيد بوكيمون Netflix  
!مناطق المغامرات القديمة
November 24, 2023
 
!السماء الزرقاء البعيدة
November 24, 2023
12
‎آفاق البوكيمون: المسلسل Netflix  
HZ001
TBA
TBA 45
  • Season 01 premiered on MBC in September 2000, and then was broadcast in syndication starting from November 27, 2000. At first only the first 12 episodes had been dubbed, so these episodes would re air on mbc over and over again for weeks before finally new episodes started airing with an updated theme song.
  • Seasons 01 and 02 aired between 2000 and 2001.
  • Season 03 premiered sometime later in late 2001.[28]
  • Season 04 premiered on ART Teenz on January 1, 2003, a year after Season 03 had concluded its run. This coincided with the channel becoming permanently free-to-air.
  • Season 06 premiered on New TV on December 10, 2005,[29] and later aired on ART Teenz starting from September 24, 2006 as part of the channel's special Ramadan programming.[30]
  • Season 23 aired on e-Junior in February 2021 before being released on Netflix later that summer.[31]
 
MBC logo.

The anime initially aired exclusively on MBC (Middle East Broadcasting Center), an independent free-to-air pan-Arab channel broadcasting via satellite.[32] But due to its immense popularity it spread rapidly to other channels, mainly local government-owned stations in different countries such as Egypt, Syria, Qatar, Algeria, Morocco among others. As it is customary for Arab Television channels to air new and exclusive programming during Ramadan, many of these stations like Qatar TV started broadcasting the series from November 27, 2000 (the first day of Ramadan that year) right after S01 had concluded its run on MBC.

Then in 2001 due to the controversy and the boycott many TV stations dropped the series from air to avoid backlash. Both MBC and Spacetoon terminated their contracts with KM productions and the rights were picked up by a Saudi Private network, The Arab Radio and Television Network (شبكة راديو وتلفزيون العرب).

Starting with Season 03 the anime now aired mainly on ART Teenz, a children's channel and part of the ART Network, and on New TV (تلفزيون الجديد), an independent Lebanese TV channel that targets mostly a Christian Arab audience. With syndicated reruns being aired occasionally on few other channels such as ART Ein (إيه آر تي عين), Al Andalus TV (an Arabic-speaking privately-owned satellite channel broadcasting from Spain) and the government-owned channels in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, meaning no official ban was issued in those countries.[33]

 
New TV logo.

New TV started airing the series In 2004, reruns of the first 04 seasons would air every morning at 6:30am (Lebanon time) so that kids would watch it before they go to school. And by December 2005, Season 06 started airing exclusively on the channel,[34][35] but because of the inconvenient time slot this broadcast of the season didn't attract much attention and went almost unnoticed. Season 06 would later air on ART Teenz the following Ramadan to a much wider audience reception. Sometime later Season 07 premiered on New TV, this makes New TV the only channel to have aired the Arabic dub of Season 07.

ART Teenz kept airing reruns of S03 to S06 daily from 2002 until 2007, and by 2006 the channel was airing Pokémon twice a day with S04 airing at 7:30pm KSA/4:30pm GMT and S06 airing at 10pm KSA/7pm GMT. While its sister channel ART Ein, a general entertainment channel aired reruns of S01 to S04. Both channels were shut down in 2008.

 
MBC 3 logo.

MBC 3 another prominent children' s channel in the region and also part of the MBC network would sometimes broadcast different Pokémon movies (M02 to M07) in the English dub with Arabic subtitles, with the most recent one being POKÉMON Detective Pikachu in 2022. Despite of frequently broadcasting the Pokémon movies (as well as the other works distributed by KM Productions like the Yu-Gi-Oh! series) it's unclear why this channel has never aired the Pokémon anime series.

Movie Broadcast date
Pokémon the Movie 2000: The Power of One December 3, 2009
Pokémon 3: The Movie - Spell of the Unown: Entei August 22, 2006
Pokémon 4Ever - Celebi: The Voice of the Forest February 23, 2007
Pokémon Heroes: Latios & Latias February 13, 2008
Pokémon: Jirachi: Wish Maker May 14, 2010
Pokémon: Destiny Deoxys June 30, 2010
POKÉMON Detective Pikachu July 16, 2022
Country Channels aired
Pan region via satellite Local stations
Algeria MBC (S01 to S02 first run)
ART Teenz (S03 to S04 first run, S01 to S02, S06 syndicated reruns )
New TV (S06 to S07 first run, S01 to S04 syndicated reruns)
Television Algérienne (S01 to S03)
Echorouk TV (S23 unofficial)
Bahrain Spacetoon as a seven-hour block on Bahrain TV (S01)
Egypt Egyptian Second Channel (S01 to S02)
Iraq Al Iraqiya (S01)
Shabab TV
Jordan Al-Urdunniyya (S01 to S03)
Kuwait Kuwait Television (S01 to S02)
Lebanon INN (S01)
New TV (S01 to S07)
MTV Lebanon
Libya
Morocco, Western Sahara 2M* (S01 to S06 Arabic dub, S01 to S10 French dub)
Oman Oman TV (S01 to S02)
Qatar Qatar Television (S01 to S02)
Saudi Arabia MBC (S01 to S02)
ART Teenz (S01 to S06)
ART Ein (S01 to S04)
Sudan
Syria Channel 1 (Syrian TV channel) (S01 to S02)
Tunisia Tunis 7 (S01 to S03)
United Arab Emirates Emarat TV
Channel 33
Dubai TV (S01 to S02)
Ajman TV
e-Junior (S23 Dual audio: Arabic and English, S24 to S25 English dub only)
Yemen Yemen TV (S01 to S02)
 
2M logo.

Moroccan channel 2M is notable for being the most recent TV channel to have officially aired the Arabic dub of the Pokémon anime when it aired S06 in 2010. This channel also aired the Pokémon anime in French. The channel has two separate feeds: one available nationwide via terrestrial television, and a satellite feed under the branding 2M Monde. The Pokémon anime only airs on the terrestrial feed because the network only buys its broadcasting rights for within Morocco.

 
Disney XD MENA started airing Pokémon the Series: XY in February 2015

Since the late 2000s, none of the Arabic-language TV stations in any country are airing or rerunning the Arabic dub of the Pokémon anime, most likely due to broadcasting rights expiring and complicated copyrights issues between ShoPro and KM Productions. Although the English version of the anime did air on a few premium channels such as Disney XD and most recently the UAE based channel e-Junior, this broadcast of the anime series is not well-known though, most likely due to, if not for the language barrier, then to the relatively low participation of the expensive subscription TV model in the region overall. Regardless, Disney XD's airing of the anime is not officially recognized for the MENA region specifically.

In 2021, following the Arabic dubbing and subsequent release of Pokémon Journeys: The Series on Netflix, an unauthorized transmission of the series occurred on several Arabic satellite channels, most prominently on several Algerian networks such as Echorouk TV due to the nation's lack of interest in reinforcing broadcasting and copyright regulations. Despite being an illegal broadcast, it garnered a considerable viewership, as it's the first instance in more than a decade that the series made its presence on a prominent Arabic-language television network.

Songs

 
Rasha Rizk in 2022

The Season 01 opening was written and recorded by Rasha Rizk (رشا رزق), with additional vocal support of Tarek Alarabi Tourgane (طارق العربي طرقان) and Bassam Al-Hassouni (بسام الحسوني). The first version of the theme song which uses the lyric (على خير الصنيع) was used for the first 12 episodes ("Pokémon - I Choose You!" to "Here Comes the Squirtle Squad"), and then replaced by a "more grammatically correct" second version with the lyric (سلاحي المنيع) for the remaining episodes ("Mystery at the Lighthouse" to "Charizard Chills"). Both versions of the song were performed by Rasha Rizk which she confirmed herself in a Q&A.[36]

Pikachu's Jukebox songs were also written and recorded by Rasha Rizk.

When the dub was moved to Lebanon, new versions of Pikachu's Jukebox were recorded for the remaining episodes of the Orange Islands arc by the new cast of voice actors, except for the song 2.B.A. Master which was replaced by Pokémon Karaokémon in the episodes "The Stun Spore Detour" and "The Rivalry Revival" for unknown reasons, Pokémon Karaokémon songs were also recorded.

An Arabic version of Pokémon Johto was also recorded and used for the initial broadcast of Season 03, but then it was replaced by the Season 01 theme during reruns and on the DVD release, probably due to the original theme song being more popular. This combination of the Pokémon Theme and the footage of Pokémon Johto was reused for all the subsequent seasons dubbed by Super M Productions.

The opening themes for seasons 04 to 07 were never dubbed, instead they used the Season 01 theme song along with the footage of Pokémon Johto. The opening footage for those seasons was replaced due to their opening themes being 45 seconds instead of 01 min, making them incompatible with the season 01 theme song.

Trivia

  • In an interview with Rasha Rizk and Tarek Alarabi Tourgane in 2020, she revealed that the process of writing the Arabic version of the Pokémon Theme was very difficult, as 4Kids Entertainment specifically requested for the song to be translated verbatim which was challenging since the English and Arabic language are not grammatically compatible. She also mentioned that 4Kids Entertainment wanted a young male vocalist to perform the song similar to Jason Paige, as several Venus Center employees recorded different demos for the song, the studio eventually decided to just use Rasha Rizk's version.[37]

Home media and digital release

Physical Media

 
Season 03 VHS covers as released by Flash Video Film in Egypt.
  • Season 01 was released on VHS in different countries in the region by various local home media distributors such as
    The KSA-based Young Future Entertainment and MEGASTAR,[38]
    The Egypt-based E.H.E and Flash Video Film,[39]
    The Kuwait-based IVC: International Video Co. (شركة الفديو الدولي),[40]
    The UAE-based Al Wadi.
  • Season 03 was released on VHS in Egypt in 2001 by Flash Video Film.
    • This release follows the television definition and contains all 52 episodes from EP106 to EP157.
  • Season 01 and Season 03 were later released on DVD by the UAE-based distributor Al Wadi.
  • A subtitled version of M01 to M03 were also released on VHS by these companies [41]
  • A subtitled version of M04 was released on DVD by SCOPE in the UAE and other Gulf countries.[42]
 
DVD cover for the Arabic release of M04.
  • M04 to M07 were also released on DVD by Miramax International featuring an Arabic and an English audio, although the exact release dates are currently unknown.
  • Seasons 04 to 07 didn't receive any form of home media release, and they are currently completely unobtainable. Complicating matters further, because of legal issues preventing any chance of re-airing or commercial distribution to alternative television networks. KM Productions facing the inability to profit from these seasons, made the unfortunate decision to recycle the tapes and re-purposing them to store other projects thus scrapping the Pokémon episodes and losing them completely.[43] With no recordings of the episodes to be found on the internet since they haven't been re-aired in over a decade, the Arabic dub of these seasons is now considered by many fans to be a Lost media. It's unclear whether or not Al Jadeed (formerly known as New TV), 2M and the ART Network still have copies in their archives, but since both Al Jadeed TV and 2M TV stopped airing children's programs years ago while ART Teenz was defunct in 2008, it's most likely that they disposed of their copies as well. Out of 312 episodes dubbed to Arabic approximately 156 episodes (from EP158 to AG092) are now potentially completely lost, and only a couple of short videos have made their way to the internet.[44]
    • Season 02 also seems to have never been officially released on home media, and it was for many years considered lost as well. However in 2011 fan-recorded episodes were illicitly uploaded to the internet, and presently these unauthorized recordings constitute the sole means by which the Arabic dub of Season 02 can be viewed.
    • Due to low DVD sales, the Miramax dubbed movies have also become quite rare and difficult to obtain.

Digital

In 2019 Netflix acquired the distribution rights for the franchise in the region and released:

Arabic Title Artwork Release date
بوكيمون: ميوتو يضرب مجددًا - التطور   February 27, 2020
رحلة البوكيمون: المسلسل   July 1, 2021
بوكيمون الفيلم: أسرار الأدغال   October 8, 2021
رحلة سيد البوكيمون: المسلسل   September 2, 2022
بوكيمون: سجلات آركياس   September 23, 2022
رحلة البوكيمون القصوى: المسلسل   November 24, 2023
بوكيمون: أن تكون سيد بوكيمون  
المدبرة والبوكيمون   December 28, 2023
آفاق البوكيمون: المسلسل   Currently in production.

The first season titled دوري إنديغو (Indigo League) is also currently available on Netflix retaining the original Arabic dubbing done by Venus Center, except for the episodes "The Ghost of Maiden's Peak" and "Abra and the Psychic Showdown" which were re-dubbed since they were heavily censored in the original Syrian dub.

Pokémon movies

Throughout the years, the first few Pokémon movies were released in some capacity in Arab countries, usually on special events or around holidays like Eid Al-Fitr. All of the movies that were distributed in American theaters by Warner Bros, were also released in theaters in certain Arab countries by Warner Bros. Pictures Middle East agent Shooting Stars LLC (also known as Joseph Chacra & Sons in Lebanon).

Movies availability

Network/service Area serviced Movies
 
Netflix
All Arab countries except Syria Currently:
بوكيمون: ميوتو يضرب مجددًا - التطور(February 27, 2020 - Present)
بوكيمون الفيلم: أسرار الأدغال(October 8, 2021 - Present)
Formerly:
!فيلم بوكيمون: إخترتك أنت (January 1, 2019 - April 1, 2022)
!فيلم بوكيمون: معاً أقوى (January 1, 2020 - April 1, 2022)
 
e-Junior
UAE
  • M01 (November 27, 2022 - Present)
  • M08 (September 2, 2023 - Present)
  • M10 (February 15, 2020 - Present)
  • M11 (April 7, 2021 - Present)
  • M12 (May 26, 2020 - Present)
  • M14 (February 19, 2019 - Present)
  • M16 (November 11, 2018 - Present)
  • M18 (February 10, 2020 - Present)
  • M20 (November 10, 2022 - Present)
  • M21 (November 17, 2022 - Present)
 
beIN
Worldwide primarily Qatar

Pokémon merchandise

After the Pokémon anime started airing in the Arabic language, it became one of the most popular anime series in the Arab world. Therefore, the demand for Pokémon-related merchandise among Arab children was high. Thus, several video game retailers began to sell a wide variety of Pokémon merchandise as they were best sold. Additionally, many restaurants offered promotional toys with their meals, such as Burger King in 2000. Due to the controversy in 2001, however, a lot of the merchandise was withdrawn from the main retail shops. After the controversy subsided, many game stores started selling Pokémon goods again without incident.

As of the 2010s, various distributors imported certain official Pokémon merchandise from either Europe or North America, such as Toys "R" Us outlets selling Poké Dolls and other kinds of toys. Many high-end bookstore chains, especially those that rely heavily on imported materials, may sell an assorted variety of books and magazines. For example, a Kinokuniya outlet situated in The Dubai Mall (the sole Kinokuniya outlet in the entire region), which is known to sell large volumes of varied stock, has been retailing children's magazines, video game guides, game books, film novelizations, as well as most of the Pokémon manga series, available in both English and Japanese, with the latter being distributed exclusively via this store.

In early 2013, Active Gulf, Nintendo's officially licensed distributor in the Middle East, have collaborated with their retail partners to locally sell authentic packs for the Pokémon Battle Disc Game.[46]

Many smaller toy and variety stores found in the grey market may often sell unlicensed and counterfeit products, with many of them imported from China. It is also possible to find pirated trading card packs, but in much smaller volumes than when initially released, as in prior to the 2001 controversies. Overall, the current legal status of the official trading card game itself remains vague in any case.

Events

Conan in The Land of Pokémon

 
A poster promoting the play

Conan in The Land of Pokémon was a Kuwaiti Musical stage-play crossover between Pokémon and Detective Conan, created by Spacetoon, likely to expand both franchises, both being the most popular on the channel. The play features stage actors portraying characters from both series and lip syncing to a voice over done by the Arabic dub voice actors, the voice over was recorded in Venus Center studios in Syria. The play is produced by Al Salam theater and opened in Kuwait on December 23, 2000 playing for the 2 days of Eid Al-Fitr.

  • Written by: Alaa Aljaber
  • Directed by: Jaber Muhammedi
  • Artistic supervision: Abdel Aziz El Moslem
  • The cast of actors features: Hourya Arafat, Soliman Al Marzooq, Mohammad Al Shoaiby, Ahmed Bassem, Fahd Bassem, Mahmoud Boushahri, Mahmoud Boushahri, Dana Abdullah, Yasser Abdel Karim.[47]

The plot of the play is about Team Rocket impersonating Ash to poison nature and water, and Conan has to investigate this.

A 56 min cut of the play was released on VHS by IVC: International Video Co. in Kuwait and was also broadcast on the Kuwaiti national television channel.

Pokémon Live!

Despite ending its run in January 2001 in the United States, Pokémon Live! was invited to perform on an open stage in Al Mamzar Park, Dubai, U.A.E. in the duration of the whole month of March that same year, coinciding with the annual Dubai Shopping Festival.[48] Whilst the musical was mostly identical to its performance elsewhere, the female actors had a slight change to their wardrobe which covered their exposed abdomens and thighs, likely to abide with Dubai's public dress code. Since the musical featured the same cast from its American run, it was performed solely in English. The musical, albeit received very positively by its audience, ended its run just days before the 2001 controversies began in the region overall.

Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions

On March 31, 2017, Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions was performed at the Corniche in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates as part of the Mother of the Nation Festival. It is the first Symphonic Evolutions concert to be performed in the Arab world.

Related articles

References

  1. https://gulfnews.com/uae/saudis-ban-pokemon-as-gambling-un-islamic-1.412082
  2. https://archive.aawsat.com/details.asp?issueno=8070&article=33242#.ZCFtNHbMKvE
  3. https://www.news24.com/news24/saudi-arabia-bans-pokemon-20010326
  4. 10 Egyptian Conspiracy Theories
  5. Arabs See Jewish Conspiracy in Pokemon - latimes
  6. ADL denounces claim by Muslim leaders that Pokemon game is “Jewish Conspiracy" - Press Release (archived copy)
  7. Saddam Hussein tried to ban POKEMON in Iraq for an utterly bizarre reason - Mirror Online
  8. Saudi Arabia issues fatwa against POKÉMON for being ‘un-Islamic’ and ‘blasphemous' | World | News | Express.co.uk
  9. Dubai Family Consultant Dr. Khalifa Al-Makhrazi: Pokemon Go Is Prohibited, Spreads Darwinism | MEMRI
  10. Fatwas of the Permanent Committee
  11. The Escapist - Archive - Saudi Bans Pokemon (archived copy)
  12. BBC News | MIDDLE EAST | Saudi Arabia bans Pokemon (archived copy)
  13. BBC News | Middle East | Qatari religious leader bans Pokemon
  14. Peterson, Mark Allen. 'Anthropology & Mass Communication: Media and Myth in the New Millennium'. 2003. Print.
  15. Dubai scholars declare Pokemon unislamic - Gulfnews
  16. Technically, today both PAL and NTSC signals are no longer used in most countries after being effectively superseded by newer DVB-T and ATSC signals respectively. However, the terms "PAL" and "NTSC" continues to be used for legacy reasons in reference to regional origins of specific game units since various older platforms are region-locked, and despite Nintendo eventually opting for fully region-free hardware starting in 2017.
  17. International Distributors: Middle East - NOA official website (1998 archive); Wayback Machine
  18. https://web.archive.org/web/19980205070953/http://www.nintendo.com/corp/companies/japan.html
  19. confirmed by Jihan Mulla, one of the voice actors.
  20. https://store.yahoo.com/yhst-55466754130796/pokeman.html
  21. Not much is known about the production of this dub, M05 was dubbed with an Egyptian dialect of Arabic (presumably in Egypt), while M07 was dubbed using standard Arabic presumably in Lebanon.
  22. https://www.tiktok.com/@abdohakimofficiall/video/6921632625392209154?is_from_webapp=v1&item_id=6921632625392209154
  23. https://www.tiktok.com/@ranaalrifai/video/7114369026536606977?lang=en
  24. https://www.instagram.com/p/CuAf-YgssEM/?hl=en
  25. https://dubdb.fandom.com/wiki/%D8%B1%D8%AD%D9%84%D8%A9_%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A8%D9%88%D9%83%D9%8A%D9%85%D9%88%D9%86:_%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B3%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%84
  26. https://youtu.be/ybPTcWH-Caw?feature=shared
  27. https://lebanesedubbing.fandom.com/wiki/Pok%C3%A9mon
  28. https://youtu.be/Alon0moiAls?feature=shared
  29. http://www.mexat.com/vb/showthread.php?t=27436&page=63
  30. http://www.mexat.com/vb/showthread.php?t=151439&page=9
  31. https://www.facebook.com/groups/PokemonUAE/posts/3221003271335102/
  32. https://youtu.be/3NQWlq1p7Mo?feature=shared
  33. These 3 francophone countries had previously aired the Pokémon anime in French before it was dubbed into Arabic. It's worth noting that these countries experienced comparatively lower impact from the controversy compared to their fellow Arab nations.
  34. http://www.mexat.com/vb/showthread.php?t=27436&page=66
  35. https://youtu.be/1OM7zWq8xCQ?feature=shared
  36. https://www.instagram.com/p/B2bucEEgWbN, there were rumors that the 2nd version of the song was performed by Sonia Bitar.
  37. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Apcn0zTRd0g
  38. https://www.instagram.com/p/B5A4M6egBLS
  39. https://www.instagram.com/p/CrXkerOMeBI
  40. https://www.instagram.com/reel/CgmIyQqOewr
  41. https://www.instagram.com/p/CteFw2UtX0z/?img_index=1
  42. https://www.instagram.com/p/CYgx8VKFNAy/?next=%2F&img_index=1
  43. Confirmed by Mufid Merie, a producer and the manager of KM Productions.
  44. https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1bujg
  45. https://uae.voxcinemas.com/movies/pokemon-detective-pikachu
  46. Active Gulf announcing on their official Facebook page about the availability of the Pokémon Battle Disc Game
  47. https://elcinema.com/en/work/2011639/cast
  48. Young and old enjoy Pokemon - Gulfnews


The Pokémon franchise around the world
The Americas: BrazilCanadaLatin AmericaUnited States
Asia: Greater ChinaIndonesiaJapanMalaysiaPhilippinesSingaporeSouth AsiaSouth KoreaThailandVietnam
Europe: AlbaniaBelgiumBulgariaCroatiaCzech RepublicDenmarkFinlandFranceGermanyGreece
HungaryIcelandIrelandItalyLatviaLithuaniaNetherlandsNorth MacedoniaNorwayPoland
PortugalRomaniaRussiaSerbiaSlovakiaSpainSwedenUkraineUnited Kingdom
Middle East: Arab worldIsraelTurkey
Oceania: AustraliaNew Zealand


  This article is part of Project Globe, a Bulbapedia project that aims to write comprehensive articles on the Pokémon franchise around the world.