The New York-based Yeshiva University is organizing its first Jewish studies conference in Dubai on Wednesday. The Mohamed Bin Zayed University for Humanities is a co-partner for the event, which will take place at the Crossroads of Civilizations Museum in the Emirati metropolis of Dubai.

The purpose of the unique event, “Interacting philosophies, shared friendships,” is to promote dialogue and mutual respect between Muslims and Jews across the Middle East region. The event will reportedly focus on mutual historical influences between Islam and Judaism. Because it is a Jewish studies conference, it will highlight the teachings of Moses Maimonides, a medieval Jewish philosopher and scholar who lived in the cross-section between Judaism and Islam.

The United Arab Emirates normalized its diplomatic relations with the Jewish state in 2020 with the historic U.S.-brokered Arab-Israeli Abraham Accords. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis and diaspora Jews have already visited the UAE in the past two years.

Holocaust denial is endemic in many parts of the Muslim Arab world. However, the UAE is addressing this issue head-on by becoming the only Arab state  with a Holocaust memorial exhibition. In addition, the UAE announced in January it would integrate Holocaust education in its national educational curriculum. The initiative reflects the Emirati leadership’s official embrace of tolerance and co-existence.

“In the wake of the historic Abraham Accords, the UAE will now include the Holocaust in the curriculum for primary and secondary schools,” tweeted the United Arab Emirates Embassy in Washington in January.

“Memorializing the victims of the Holocaust is crucial,” said Ali Al Nuaimi, chairperson of the UAE’s Defense, Interior and Foreign Affairs Committee.

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