UAE and Morocco Commemorate Holocaust in Abraham Accords Era 
Ahmed Obaid Almansoori, director of the Crossroads of Civilizations Museum, shows visitors around the Holocaust gallery at the facility in Dubai on Jan. 11, 2023. (Karim Sahib/AFP via Getty Images)

UAE and Morocco Commemorate Holocaust in Abraham Accords Era 

Dubai’s Crossroads Museum of Civilizations to hold special event Saturday night remembering the victims of the Nazis and honoring the Muslims who saved Jews; Moroccan city of Tangier to host official ceremony in presence of dignitaries 

For the second consecutive year, two of the Arab countries that signed the Abraham Accords normalization agreement with Israel will hold events around International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Friday to remember the six million Jews who perished at the hands of the Nazis.

The Crossroads Museum of Civilizations in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates will commemorate the Holocaust at a ceremony on Saturday night organized in cooperation with the Israeli and German embassies there.

The UAE became the first Arab country to officially commemorate the Holocaust at a similar ceremony held last year.

The Crossroads Museum of Civilizations in Dubai was also the first museum in an Arab nation to include a special exhibition that commemorates the Holocaust and tells the stories of its survivors.

“It is very important to us that we focus on educating people about the tragedies of the Holocaust because education is the antidote to ignorance,” museum founder Ahmed Obaid Almansoori said in 2021.

The exhibition also has a section dedicated to the Arabs and Muslims who helped save the Jews from the Nazis.

The exhibition includes pictures and paintings identifying personalities such as Selahattin Ülkümen, the Turkish consul-general in Rhodes who saved the Jews of the Greek island from deportation to Nazi death camps, and Dr. Mohamed Helmy, the Egyptian physician who saved many Jews from Nazi persecution in Berlin. Helmy had been studying in Berlin and remained there throughout the Second World War, where he saw what happened to the people around him and decided to save Jewish families.

Also in the exhibition is a historical section in which rare collectibles are on display, such as a facsimile of the Worms Mazhor, a Jewish prayer book from the German city during the Middle Ages.

The museum will allow attendees to tour the Holocaust exhibition, and the event will be streamed directly via YouTube for those who cannot attend in person.

The museum told The Media Line that there will be recorded and live speeches about the Holocaust delivered during the event, as well an introductory tour on the Holocaust exhibit.

The UAE was the first Arab country to officially include the events of the Holocaust in the curriculum for students across the Emirates, where more than 200 nationalities reside.

In Bahrain, the King Hamad Center for Peaceful Coexistence has not announced any events to remember the Holocaust this year, but did host a commemorative event last year. 

Sources familiar with the center told The Media Line that its representatives were currently in the Italian capital Rome, to inaugurate the Declaration of the Kingdom of Bahrain – the founding manifesto of the work of the King Hamad Global Center for Peaceful Coexistence.

Morocco is holding a Holocaust commemoration in the city of Tangier, with the participation of some of the country’s dignitaries. A similar event was held last year at the Moshe Nahon Synagogue in Tangier.

While there is no official event this year, Ibrahim Robin, a member of the Bahraini Jewish community, told The Media Line that they hold an annual a Holocaust remembrance ceremony at the Ten Commandments Synagogue in the Bahraini capital of Manama. 

“There is great sympathy on the part of the Bahraini people for what the Jews have gone through. Bahrain is a peaceful people and does not accept any kind of injustice or criminality,” he said. 

“After the Abraham Accords [were signed], we have seen a greater light on the Jews in the Gulf, but the reality of coexistence with the Jews in the Gulf predates these agreements.”

Egypt and Jordan, the first two Arab countries to sign peace agreements with Israel, have not held any commemorations of the Holocaust in the decades since they signed those treaties.

Sudan, which is the fourth signatory of the Abraham Accords, will also not hold any events to mark the day. 

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