Dubai museum opens permanent Holocaust exhibition

Dubai Holocaust exhibition highlights Arabs, Muslims who helped Jews escape Nazis
2 min read
08 June, 2021
A Holocaust exhibition at Dubai's Crossroads of Civilization Museum has been billed as the Middle East's 'first-ever'.
The exhibition features stories of Arabs and Muslims who helped Jews during World War II [Getty]

 

A Holocaust exhibition opened in Dubai in May has been touted as the Middle East's first permanent exhibition dedicated to remembering Jewish victims of Nazi persecution.

The one-room exhibition at Dubai's Crossroads of Civilization Museum documents the events leading up to, during, and after the Holocaust, when an estimated six million European Jews were killed.

The 'We remember' exhibition  also draws attention to Muslims and Arabs who helped the Jewish people at this time. 

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Visitors to the museum are exposed to the stories of Albanian Muslims who welcomed Jewish refugees, as well as those of Arabs like Mohamed Helmy, an Egyptian doctor, who saved several Jews from persecution when living in Berlin. 

The exhibition's launch comes as the UAE builds close relations with Israel in multiple spheres, including in security, trade and culture. Palestinian activists have accused Emiratis of entrenching Israeli occupation in the Palestinian territories, while all Palestinian political factions have unanimously condemned the Gulf state's normalisation deal with Tel Aviv.

The museum's founder, Ahmed Obaid Almansoori, told CNN the exhibition's launch came at a time that felt right, however insisted its detachment from from regional politics.

"The Holocaust was a crime against humanity. And when you have an event like that, you must separate it from other events," Almansoori said. "A museum is not a political place, it's a journey through history," he added.

The exhibition's launch was attended by Israel's Ambassador to the UAE, Eitan Na’eh and the German Ambassador, Peter Fischer.

 “We have to fight...discrimination of any kind in the whole world," Fischer said in a speech at the event. "The best way to fight it is to educate people.”