I Grew Up with Anti-Semitism in the UAE. Peace with Israel Is a Dream Come True.

(Forward) Mujahed Kobbe - From the age of eight until adulthood, I called the UAE home. Calling Israel and its Jewish inhabitants the enemy of Islam and God was as common as breathing while I was growing up. Anti-Semitism was in my home. It was in the school hallways and yard. You heard it at the cafe. At Friday prayers, a religious cleric at any given mosque was sure to make a comment about how Allah will one day destroy Israel from the map. Believing in conspiracies like the idea that Israel was the true mastermind behind 9/11 or that Israel is funding ISIS was prevalent, mainstream, part of the culture - passed down through generations by people who had never once interacted with a Jew. It's so weird looking back at it now, trying to understand how it is that I had this hate in my heart for an entire group of people I had never met. Watching high-level Emiratis on Twitter show their support for Israel, actually tweeting the UAE flag and Israeli flag together, sparked hope in me. Seeing the UAE let go of its hate for a country and a people, just as I did, made me so proud of the country I had called home and grew up in.

2020-08-20 00:00:00

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