Outpouring of commemoration for Yom HaShoah (Holocaust remembrance) in the Gulf

An outpouring of events and commemorations on Yom HaShoah in the Gulf illustrates the growing recognition of the Holocaust and striving for coexistence that. is taking place.

Events were held in Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, including in Dubai and across the region, marking a unique series of unprecedented events commemorating the Holocaust. These included an event at the Crossroads of Civilization Museum in Dubai, a unique women’s event and important participants from the various communities. In Bahrain the commemoration took place with President of the community, Ebrahim D. Nonoo.

The Association of Gulf Jewish Communities organized a unique event. Prior to it they wrote, “Join us for a virtual commemoration on Holocaust Remembrance Day 2021 featuring panelists from the UAE and Bahrain who will be speaking about their first time visiting Yad Vashem and their thoughts on how Muslims and Jews can work together to create a new Middle East.”

Yonatan Gonen of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote about the “historic event: Jews from Gulf states will commemorate together the victims of the Holocaust. The virtual event is organized by the Association of Gulf Jewish Communities.” According to The Jerusalem Post “The webinar will feature two young Muslims, Fetama al Harbi from Bahrain and Thoufeek Zakriya from the United Arab Emirates, who will discuss their experiences during their recent visit to Yad Vashem…In addition, the Jewish community of Bahrain, known as the House of the Ten Commandments, and the Jewish Council of the Emirates (JCE) will each hold their own separate Holocaust Remembrance Day events.”

Marcy Grossman, Canada’s Ambassador to the UAE wrote that “on Yom Hashoah in the #UAE, we lit yellow candles to remember the 6 million lives extinguished, and we recognized the upstanding Arabs who risked their lives for Jews.”

The various events received widespread coverage at various outlets at i24, Algemeiner, and other places. Ebrahim Dawood Nonoo was quoted as saying: “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.”

At an event in Dubai women leaders met to commemorate the Holocaust. Alanoud AlHashmi writes “today we met as women in the Middle East and beyond in #Dubai#UAE to discuss our role in bringing peace in our lives and the world and we together decided Never Again at Yom HaShoah.”

The Crossroads of Civilization Museum hosted an event on Al Khaleej road to remember the Holocaust in Dubai. Among the speakers were Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, Chief Rabbi of the United Arab Emirates. In addition Ahmed Obeid Al-Mansoori, founder of the museum was present. Jonathan Fried and Alex Peterfreund of the JCE also did a reading. A dedication was made and there were closing remarks at the April 7 event.

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