In a new move by the UAE administration towards the diversification of education systems inside the Emirates, the schools in UAE will now teach the historical event of the Holocaust as part of their primary and secondary school syllabus.
The decision was announced by the UAE embassy in the US and it was also shared through social media by Dr.Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, Head of the Federal National Council (FNC). The UAE embassy reported that the Holocaust studies will be added to the UAE school syllabus after expert recommendations from Israel’s official Holocaust Memorial Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.
The UAE’s Education Ministry Announced To Include Holocaust Education In School Curriculum
Dr.Ali Al Nuaimi, who is also the mediator of the Abraham Accords said that the decision was a crucial step in commemorating the victims of the Holocaust tragedy. He said that a tragedy like the Holocaust is not just limited to Jews but is upon the whole of humanity.
The term ‘Holocaust’ is taken from the ancient Greek language and it means ‘burnt offering’. Although it was used throughout history to describe mass killings since 1945 it is largely used in the context of the systematic murder of Jews by the Nazi regime. Millions of Jews were murdered using poisonous gas and other inhuman methods in one of the worst racial genocides in the history of the world.
The decision comes two years after the signing of the Abraham Accords between UAE and Israel in September 2020. The Accords were meant to foster a new era of international relations between the UAE and other countries, especially Israel.
The UAE had a long-standing blanket ban on Israel and this was removed by the signing of the Abraham Accords which made the UAE the first Arab nation to sign a free trade agreement with Israel. Thani Al Zeyoudi, the UAE trade minister remarked that the Accords is “a new chapter in the history of the Middle East”.
The trade exchange between both nations would see an increase of up to ten billion dollars within five years of the signing of the deal. But apart from trade benefits, the Accords also encourage cultural transactions between the nations as this is necessary for the overall development of relations among them. The UAE has placed Israel as one of its main economic partners together with nations like Bahrain, Morocco, and Egypt to unfold greater economic trade relations.
Some financial experts observe that this deal is a great opportunity for both nations especially Israel as this opens up the possibility for not only improving relations with the UAE but other Arab countries as well who are still not in a good relationship with Israel. Dorian Barak, Co-President of the UAE-Israel Business Council noted that the deal would create opportunities for around a thousand Israeli companies to establish their business in the UAE by the end of 2022.
The deal would also nullify tariffs for around 96 percent of goods that will be traded between both nations which include goods like diamonds, jewelry, fertilizers, medicine, and food items. A lot of international trade duties will be revoked and the remaining would be gradually removed in a span of five years from now.
Israel sees Dubai as a regional hub where it can foster broader relationships with other Middle Eastern countries and also explore economic outlets that would enhance the business transactions between both nations. There are existing business relationships between companies in the UAE and Israel but the Abraham Accords will provide a more strong footing and a comfortable space for new entrepreneurs.
The Accords will also help improve regional security, peace, and prosperity as more cultural cooperation will lead to the melting of differences between these nations on the basis of race and religion.
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Marcus Scheff, Director of the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) is working with the UAE Ministry of Education to create new Holocaust-based curricula.
He said that the UAE was always ahead in implementing programs than other regions and this was reflected in their decision to recognize the historic position of Judaism in the Arab world. Scheff also expressed his confidence in the general outlook of the UAE education sector as it doesn’t have any content that fosters hatred or antisemitism.
Also, in other inclusive efforts, in 2021 a Holocaust Memorial Exhibit was opened in Dubai to address the issue of Nazi genocide denial prevalent in the Arab World. This exhibit was the first of its kind in the region and it has been headed by seven Holocaust survivors who are taking steps to sensitize the Arab public, especially the young Emirati minds about the harsh realities that they faced in the Nazi Holocaust camps.
All these efforts are part of the UAE government’s positioning itself as a promoter of peace and prosperity in the Arab World by creating strong economic and cultural foundations globally.
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