DUBAI: The UAE has opened a Holocaust memorial exhibition, the first of its kind in the Middle East.
The display aims to raise awareness among Dubai’s residents and tourists of the horrors of Nazi Germany’s extermination of Jews and other minorities.
The exhibition explores the chain of events leading up to the Holocaust and includes a special tribute to Arabs who defended and saved Jews.
The opening on Wednesday at the Crossroads of Civilizations Museum was attended by Israel’s ambassador to the UAE Eitan Naeh and Peter Fischer Germany’s Ambassador to the UAE.
“As a leading cultural institution in the UAE, 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 Obeid Al-Mansoori said.
The UAE’s Chief Rabbi Yehuda Sarna said: “My wife’s family was saved from the Holocaust by an Arab doctor, Mohamed Helmy. His example – this exhibit – reminds us that we must rise to the challenge of combating extremism as neighbors, as friends.”
The museum follows an agreement between Israel and the UAE last year for the Emirates to become only the third Arab state to establish full relations with Israel.
Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco followed with similar US-brokered agreements.
“Who would have dreamt 70 or 80 years ago that an Israeli ambassador and a German ambassador would sit here together, in an Arab country, visiting a Holocaust remembrance exhibition,” Ambassador Naeh said.