The Aladdin Project, based in Paris and established in 2009 to combat Holocaust denial, was introduced to London immediately after the end of the Jews from Arab Countries conference at SOAS on 24 November. Here are Niran T's impressions of the presentation:
"I thought was a very good presentation. The talk by the Project's director, Anne-Marie Revcolevschi, was excellent. She explained how the idea came about for this project - which is an independent international organisation based in Paris. It was launched under the patronage of UNESCO in March 2009. Its objective is to promote intercultural rapprochement, particularly between Jews and Muslims, on the basis of mutual knowledge, respect for historical truth and rejection of conflicts of memory including Holocaust denial.
As mentioned in their flyer: “Aladdin’s aim is to provide reliable and accessible historical and cultural information through the production and translation- in the languages of the concerned populations- of books, film, documentaries, websites and any other source of information."
In January and February 2010, the Aladdin project organized in partnership with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs a series of first-ever conferences in ten cities in North Africa and In the Middle East entitled Reading Primo Levi in the Muslim world. From Rabat to Baghdad, via Casablanca, Tunis, Cairo, Istanbul, Amman, Nazareth, Jerusalem and Erbil, more than 1500 people participated in these discussions. The events were widely covered by the Arab media.
"Other projects are underway such as Jews and Muslims through the centuries, a Rabat conference on The Muslim Righteous, an Istanbul conference on Refugees from Nazism in Turkey, Euro-Med Summer schools and Young religious leaders. Many world leaders and international organizations support this initiative, including the heads of state of Egypt, France, Morocco, Tunisia, Qatar, Bahrain, Senegal, Spain and Bosnia ant the UN, UNESCO and the European Union.
"The project, in my view, is very inspiring and interesting. In my opinion, its success will benefit the case of Jews of Arab countries, as it will help to introduce the case to an audience who have no access to information about it in their own language."
The Aladdin Project is coming to town