Thursday, 8 Dec 2022 - 14 of Kislev, 5783

International March of the Living announces participation of official UAE delegation and launches first Holocaust Education and Remembrance Chapter in the Gulf

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The participation of Ahmed Obaid Al Mansoori at the March of the Living, and the appointment of Eitan Neishlos as the Founder and Ambassador of March of the Living in the Gulf states, comes after the significant progress in ties between Israel and the UAE and with respect for the development of the Jewish community in the Gulf.

The International March of the Living will resume in person for the first time in two years but with a reduced capacity, due to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, and only eight Holocaust survivors participating.

The procession along the path leading from the Auschwitz to Birkenau concentration camps in Poland will take place starting on April 24, a few days before Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah), as a tribute to the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

 

For the first time in its three-decade history, the Holocaust remembrance and education organization, the International March of the Living, will include the participation of an official delegation of the United Arab Emirates.

The delegation will be led by Ahmed Obaid Al Mansoori, together with entrepreneur and philanthropist Eitan Neishlos, the newly appointed founder and ambassador of International March of the Living in the Gulf states.

They will light a memorial torch together at the official ceremony in Auschwitz-Birkenau as they will join Holocaust survivors and all delegations on Thursday, April 28, 2022.

Ahmed Obaid Al Mansoori is founder of the first Holocaust Memorial Gallery in the Arabic and Islamic world as well as Founder of the Crossroads of Civilizations Museum. In addition, he is a former Member of the Federal National Council.

Eitan Neishlos, a third-generation descendant of a Holocaust survivor, the late Tamar Zisserman, has joined March of the Living as a strategic partner to lead a journey of remembrance and responsibility among members of the third generation. His commitment to this organization led to the creation of this important new relationship with the UAE.

The participation of Ahmed Obaid Al Mansoori at the March of the Living, and the appointment of Eitan Neishlos as the Founder and Ambassador of March of the Living in the Gulf states, comes after the significant progress in ties between Israel and the UAE and with respect for the development of the Jewish community in the Gulf.

The International March of the Living will resume in person for the first time in two years but with a reduced capacity, due to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, and only eight Holocaust survivors participating.

The procession along the path leading from the Auschwitz to Birkenau concentration camps in Poland will take place starting on April 24, a few days before Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah), as a tribute to the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

The 32km March from Auschwitz 1 to Auschwitz-Birkenau will conclude with the traditional ceremony held on the remains of the Auschwitz-Birkenau crematoria and will feature former Israeli Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, Mayor of Jerusalem Moshe Lion and Holocaust survivors and delegates from 25 countries. Torches of Remembrance will be lit in memory of the six million Jewish women, children and men who needlessly perished.

Since the first march in 1988, more than 260,000 people have participated in the annual event, according to its website. A total of 70 Holocaust survivors participated in the last in-person march in 2019.

“In the last few years, the International March of the Living and the world as a whole have lost many Holocaust survivors,” said March of the Living President Phyllis Greenberg Heideman and Chairman Shmuel Rosenman. “This is almost the last opportunity to march alongside Holocaust survivors. It is our responsibility to carry the torch of their memory even in the face of the tragic ongoing war in Ukraine.”

Speaking ahead of the next March, Ahmed Obaid Al Mansoori noted: “The lessons of the past and the dangers of hatred and prejudice must be learned across the world for the sake of humanity. The new realities in the Middle East which have greatly contributed to the warm friendships between Jews and Muslims, offers a historic opportunity for the children of Abraham to stand together in remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust and serve as a sign of cooperation and partnership for the future in our region, and further.”

Eitan Neishlos commented, “The opportunity to establish the March of the Living’s presence in the UAE and the Gulf, is not only a privilege, it is also an opportunity to reach ensure more people in our region learn about and understand the horrors of the Holocaust and take forward a message of reconciliation and peace for the future.”

Phyllis Greenberg Heideman added, “After the Abraham Accords, we have the opportunity and the obligation to educate more people about the Holocaust and the lessons to be learned from that time in history. I congratulate Eitan Neishlos  for undertaking the initiative to bring our mission of engagement and education to the Arab world. The participation of an official delegation from the UAE, and the establishment of our presence in the region is an important first steps to further the future of Holocaust memory and education.”

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