Arab Gulf countries set to mark Yom HaShoah
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Arab Gulf countries set to mark Yom HaShoah

Joint programme will feature Muslim young people explain their experiences of visiting Yad Vashem for the first time

Manama, Bahrain's capital. (Wikipedia/Wadiia)
Manama, Bahrain's capital. (Wikipedia/Wadiia)

Arab countries in the Gulf were set to mark Yom HaShoah this week with participation from young Muslims, the first such event since a historic peace accord with Israel.

The young people from Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates were to share their experiences of visiting Yad Vashem and learning for the first time about the atrocities of the Holocaust.

Thursday night’s event will also include input from the growing Jewish communities of the Gulf region, who will discuss how Jews and Muslims can work together to create a new Middle East.

“It is truly remarkable that we can celebrate Yom HaShoah so openly this year in the Gulf – both as the broader Jewish community of the Gulf and in our individual communities,” said Elie Abadie, the rabbi of the Association of Gulf Jewish Communities, which is organising the event.

His colleague Ebrahim Dawood Nonoo added: “Living in the Gulf, we are blessed not to experience anti-Semitism which is increasing in other areas of the world. This is due to our close relationships with our Muslim neighbours as we look out for one another.

“Therefore, it was important for us to also include a component of our program focused on how Muslims and Jews can build a new – and better – Middle East with a united front.”

Other events include a 24-hour run on Thursday around the Al Dhafra air base in Abu Dhabi to remember victims and survivors of the Holocaust.

The event will be streamed not just in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, with which Israel now has diplomatic relations, but also Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

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