The much-acclaimed television series “Umm Haroun” produced for Ramadan month viewing, describes the life of Kuwait’s Jewish community in the 1940s. It has generated stormy discussion throughout the Middle East about Jewish-Arab relations. The show’s airing on the Saudi MBC channel, flying in the face of harsh BDS and radical Islamic criticism, is hardly random. It reflects a decade-long process of interfaith Jewish-Muslim dialogue and growing interest of Arab and Muslim states in Judaism and the Jews. The process is evident in official meetings and rabbis’ visits to Arab capitals, restoration, renovation and establishment of synagogues in Egypt, Morocco and Dubai, conciliatory messages by Arab leaders, legislation amendments in several Arab states, positive remarks by senior Muslim clerics and even in literary and cinematic endeavors.
Research / Israel and the Middle East