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UAE becomes 1st Middle Eastern country to mandate Holocaust education in schools

The United Arab Emirates will start including curriculum about the Holocaust in its classrooms, the country's embassy in the United States announced last week. 

"In the wake of the historic #AbrahamAccords, [the UAE] will now include the Holocaust in the curriculum for primary and secondary schools," the Emirati embassy tweeted

It appears the move is a key step in the advancement of the Abraham Accords, a 2020 deal that normalized relations between Israel and a number of Middle Eastern nations, including the UAE. "Memorializing the victims of the Holocaust is crucial," added Ali Al Nuaimi, one of the Emirati men behind the deal. 

Deborah Lipstadt, the U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, also praised the move, tweeting that she was "pleased to see this important step by the United Arab Emirates." 

However, The Associated Press reported Monday that government education authorities in the UAE had not acknowledged the embassy's announcement. Details on what the actual curriculum and scope of the country's Holocaust education might be remains unclear. 

As The Jerusalem Post reported, this move makes the UAE the first Arab nation to officially add Holocaust education to its schools. It comes in a region where Holocaust denial and misinformation about the genocide remain high. Entire television shows about the "fake Holocaust" have been broadcast in the Middle East, and hundreds of books about Holocaust denial are reportedly still sold in Arab bookstores. 

However, the UAE's move may be a sign of changing mindsets when it comes to accepting the facts of the Holocaust.