By Julie Stahl
For the first time, Jewish communities in the Gulf will commemorate Yom HaShoah, Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, together, and will include young Muslims from Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
The event is being hosted by the Association of Gulf Jewish Communities (AGJC).
The Muslims will share their experiences about visiting Israel’s Holocaust Memorial, Yad Vashem for the first time and learning about the atrocities of the Holocaust. It’s due to take place on Thursday at 12:00 pm EST. Those interested in the event are invited to register.
“It is very important to see Muslims and Jews commemorating Yom HaShoah together – especially in the Gulf – because our society flourishes when we support one another,” Bahraini Ambassador Houda Nonoo told CBN News.
“Having our Muslim friends and neighbors show their support of the Jewish community on a day where we remember one of our darkest times, gives us hope that something like the Holocaust could not happen again because we live in a more tolerant society where our friends – no matter their religion – will stand up for us, and in turn, we will stand up for them.” Nonoo said.
The memorials in the Gulf began at the House of the Ten Commandments (the Jewish Community of Bahrain) and the Jewish Council of the Emirates (JCE in Dubai) on Wednesday evening in what they called the Yellow Candle Project.
As part of the global effort to remember victims of the Holocaust, Jewish community members lit yellow candles in memory of the name of Jewish who perished in the Holocaust.
The JCE also hosted a commemoration in conjunction with the Crossroads of Civilization Museum that featured stories of Arabs who stood up against the Nazis including King Mohammed V of Morocco and Imams in Algeria.
Also, in the UAE, the Al Dhafra Air Base is hosting a 24-hour walk/run around the base’s track to remember Holocaust victims and survivors, in which participants will take turns carrying a US flag.
“It is truly remarkable that we can celebrate Yom HaShoah so openly this year in the Gulf – both as the broader Jewish community of the Gulf and in our individual communities,” said Rabbi Dr. Elie Abadie, the rabbi of the AGJC.
“Yom HaShoah is both a day to commemorate the travesties which took place during the Holocaust as well as to look toward the future and build a better world for the next generation so that it does not happen again,” said Ebrahim Dawood Nonoo, president of the AGJC and The House of the Ten Commandments in Bahrain.
“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 neighbors as we look out for one another,” Ebrahim Dawood Nonoo said.
Nonoo said it was important to focus on how Muslims and Jews can work together to build a new and better Middle East.