Abu Dhabi commemorates Holocaust Remembrance Day


The event was held in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth; the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, reports Asian Lite News

The Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy (AGDA), in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth; the United States Embassy in Abu Dhabi, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, hosted the first official International Holocaust Remembrance Day observation in the Gulf on Thursday, at the Academy’s premises. 

The event featured remarks by Her Excellency Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth; His Excellency Nickolay Mladenov, Director of Research and Analysis Department, AGDA; His Excellency Amir Hayek, Ambassador of Israel to the UAE; Sean Murphy, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of the U.S., and Tad Stahnke, Director, International Educational Outreach, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The programme also featured the premier screening in the UAE of the documentary, Righteous Among the Nations: Lost Stories of the Holocaust in Arab Lands, which was followed by a panel discussion, that shed light on the importance of the annual commemoration. On the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the UN urges every member state to honour the millions of Jewish and other victims, and to develop educational programmes to help prevent future genocides.

Her Excellency Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, said: “We would like to mark this International Holocaust Remembrance Day as an occasion to pay our respects to the victims of the Holocaust, and an occasion to pledge, as an international community, to be reminded of this crime that shook all of humanity, and resulted in atrocities that no peace-loving person will accept. The Holocaust was a crime against humanity that had far-reaching consequences and cannot be condoned.”

Her Excellency Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi speaking during the event

Her Excellency stressed the importance of the resolutions adopted by the United Nations in the past years, which aimed to raise awareness about the Holocaust and reminding the world of it. “Humanity should stand in solidarity to prevent such crimes from taking place in the future. The onus lies on us, all the peace-loving countries and people, to commemorate the innocent lives that were lost in these horrendous events and to inform the world of the catastrophe that befell them.”

Her Excellency pointed out that it’s thanks to the vision of the country’s wise leadership that the UAE has become a beacon of hope to establish tolerance, brotherhood, and peaceful coexistence in the world. “We value the importance of logic and reason to promote tolerance and move away from the cycle of violence. We believe in spreading the message of religious tolerance that encourages love and harmony and calls for respect of one and all”, she concluded.

His Excellency Nickolay Mladenov, said: “AGDA is honoured to co-host this special event, to honour and commemorate the millions of lives lost during the second world war. This gathering is a reminder to re-commit ourselves to the battle against genocide, extremism, hatred, intolerance, and racism – that unfortunately still takes place, right before our eyes.”

“This event is especially paramount for our aspiring diplomats. As future diplomats – it is imperative to be in touch with reality – and possess immense knowledge about the dark human tragedies that took place throughout our history – as well as the callous and brutal acts that still occur today, in many parts of the world,” he added.

During his welcome remarks at the event, His Excellency told AGDA’s students: “Your roles as future diplomats not only mean you will have the honour to serve your country’s foreign policy objectives, strengthen its relations and build bridges of peace, dialogue and cooperation with the international community – but also – to use the righteous spirit within you, to stand up for humanity.”

Sean Murphy, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of the United States, said: “It is an honour for the U.S. Embassy to join the UAE Ministry of Culture, the Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day by remembering the six million Jewish and other victims of Nazism.”

“The UAE’s leadership to promote interfaith tolerance and coexistence set the stage for today’s important event. Today is also a day to educate and keep real the promise of ‘never again,’” he pointed out.

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Speaking on the importance of the documentary, Murphy said: “The film, Among the Righteous: Lost Stories from the Holocaust in Arab Lands, epitomises this important goal of combating genocide through education, by celebrating the courageous Arabs that stood up to hatred and division. May their bravery recommit us to build a world in which the lessons of the Holocaust are taught and in which all human lives are valued.”

Tad Stahnke, said: “The Holocaust’s timeless lessons about the dangers of extremism, intolerance, and hate resonate with people worldwide.”

The USHMM is the United States’ official memorial to the Holocaust, which provides documentation, study, and interpretation of Holocaust history. The museum aims to raise global awareness that confronts hatred, prevents genocide and promotes human dignity.

“We are honoured to work with the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth, the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi and AGDA, to host this historic event,” added Stahnke.