The human species is innovative, creative, and intelligent, however, looking into our collective history certainly demonstrates our flaws. Humans have committed atrocities against our environment and each other, but the best way to progress and make sure that these events do not repeat themselves is by acknowledging the dark stains in our history and learning about them.
This is why the “We Remember” exhibition at the Crossroads of Civilizations Museum in Dubai, the first Holocaust Memorial Exhibition presented in the Arab world, is so significant. Over six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis between 1941 and 1945. The exhibit features first-hand testimonies of those who were able to survive the Holocaust.
The goal of this exhibit is to raise awareness by highlighting the Holocaust in the collective memory of the people of Dubai, but it also serves an important purpose for the Jewish community.
Rabbi Levi Duchman, Rabbi to the UAE, says that the exhibit is something that the Jewish community can build a community upon. He expands on this thought saying, “The fact this museum has put on a Holocaust memorial display is something really important. It’s a place where we can bring our children. We could bring schools from different communities to come to see the history of the Jewish people and what they went through in Europe.”
The exhibit includes a section that is dedicated to the stories of Arabs and Muslims who helped Jews escape during this horrific time. Curator Yael Grafy says, “This is one of the biggest crimes against humanity. It was really important to us alongside the other galleries about tolerance and other communities… we wanted to show them hope and show the Muslims and people from the area that helped to save people.”
According to the museum’s founder, Ahmed Obaid AlMansoori, the opening of the museum is timely, as parts of the Middle East region open up and there is an effort being made towards normalizing relations between countries. He hopes that if the people can learn about the history of the Holocaust, it may curb the “rise in antisemitism… and racism in the world.”