Yad Vashem's website in Arabic is complete with the fact-based historical narrative of the Holocaust, a wide range of online exhibitions designed to present personal stories from those who went through it, as well as educational materials available to the public in Arabic-speaking countries and communities. Nevertheless, many in the Arabic-speaking world are not familiar with the Holocaust, the impact it had on humanity and its relevance to today's complex global society.
Over the past months, as diplomatic relations solidified between Israel and certain Arab states, Yad Vashem began to search for ways to further its outreach to the Arab world. Earlier this month, this opportunity presented itself when an official delegation from Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates came to Israel, eager to learn about and develop relations with their newfound Jewish and Israeli friends. In addition to touring the country and meeting with various groups representing a variety of spheres, this group of influential young men and women visited the Mount of Remembrance for a deeper look into this watershed event in modern human history.
In accordance with guidelines of the Israel Ministry of Health, Yad Vashem opened its doors especially for this historic visit, which included a guided tour of the Holocaust History Museum, a visit to the Hall of Remembrance and a walk through the iconic Children’s Memorial. They heard the voices and stories of Holocaust survivors, saw personal artifacts of Holocaust victims, and learned about the calamity that befell the Jewish people just decades ago.
The impressions of the group following their impactful tour are reflected in messages written in the Yad Vashem Guestbook. They provide a truly remarkable glimpse into the power of a visit to Yad Vashem, and the impact the Holocaust continues to make on human beings, regardless of background, culture or religion:
"It was so touching. The person who leaves this place without a tear, is the one who has a heart of stone."
Payyanakath Zakriya Thoufeek, UAE
"We are so honored to know more about the real suffering of Jews. It is incredible that they were reborn as a great nation. The Holocaust. Never ever again!!!"
Dr. Majid Al Sarrah, Public Policy expert and social activist, UAE
"The museum represents the horror the Jewish people went through preceding (and during) the Second World War. The genocide and ethnic cleansing must never happen again."
Khawla Almuhairi, Human Resources expert, UAE
While the Coronavirus pandemic has temporarily closed the campus on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem, the Holocaust and its messages are perhaps now more important than ever, especially in light of the spread of antisemitism, hatred and xenophobia worldwide. Despite all these restrictions, Yad Vashem's reach is unabated. Anyone, anywhere in the world can still access accurate information and reliable content about the Holocaust – in eight languages. Click here for more information.