Working with Yad Vashem memorial and education monitor group IMPACT-se, Emirati ministries are building material for elementary and high schools.
DUBAI — The United Arab Emirates is taking major steps to combat a regional culture of Holocaust denial in the wake of the 2020 Abraham Accords that normalized its relations with Israel.
Once entirely absent from the learning materials of children in the UAE — which also blacked out Israel from world maps and globes — the Holocaust is now set to be fully included in the curriculum, as the Gulf country moves to position itself as a regional peacemaker.
Last year, the region’s first Holocaust memorial exhibition opened in Dubai, just months after the US-brokered accords ended a more than 70-year impasse between Israel and the UAE.
Since then, seven Holocaust survivors have been brought to the country to speak on the horrors of the Nazi genocide, including UK-based Eve Kugler, 91, a German-born survivor who spoke earlier this month on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the November 9, 1938, pogrom in Germany.
As the UAE’s Education Ministry builds the new curricula, which will be for children in both primary and secondary school, the Tel Aviv- and London-based Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) has been advising on educational standards, including assessing course content.
Marcus Sheff, IMPACT-se’s CEO, said the UAE’s curricula were already “head and shoulders” above those of other regional countries in that they show “no evidence of hate at all,” nor antisemitism, and “recognize Judaism’s historic place in the Arab World.”
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