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January 31, 2023 10:28 am

UAE Museum Showcases Torah Scroll That Survived the Shoah to Help Combat Holocaust Denial in Region


avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

A general view of the Business Bay area, after a curfew was imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, March 28, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Satish Kumar / File.

The Crossroads of Civilizations Museum in the United Arab Emirates unveiled on Saturday night a Torah scroll that survived the Holocaust during an event held in honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The scroll is on permanent loan to the museum from the Memorial Scrolls Trust, which safeguards more than 1,000 Torah scrolls that were rescued from the Holocaust. The Torah scroll is the first to be allocated to a museum in a Muslim country and the Crossroads of Civilizations Museum is believed to be the first museum in a Muslim country to have a Holocaust exhibition, according to the Memorial Scrolls Trust.

“I lived in the Arab world when I was young, and the term Holocaust does not exist … So this is a huge step,” said Edwin Shuker, an Iraqi-Jewish businessman and vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, who organized the loan.

Ahmed Obaid Al Mansoori, founder of the Crossroads of Civilizations Museum, said the Torah scroll on display will help fight “big denial” of the Holocaust in the Middle East, Reuters reported. He said, “For us peace is a complete peace. Many people have forgotten the Jews are part of the region. So here, we’re trying to show … the good days between the Jews and the Arabs in the past.”

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It’s been two years since the UAE, Israel, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan, signed the US-brokered Abraham Accords. The UAE announced earlier in January that it will begin implementing Holocaust education in its primary and secondary school curriculums.

“It’s important to remember what happened. It’s important to make sure that it will never happen again. And it’s important to stand here together, all of us, Israelis, Emiratis and others in order to say: Not anymore,” Israeli Ambassador to the UAE Amir Hayek told Reuters at the museum event.

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