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    Aladdin Project: a dialogue based on the rejection of Holocaust denial

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    The Aladdin Project was initiated in 2009 by the FMS as an independent educational and cultural programme. Hundreds of academics as well as prominent members of the Arab-Muslim world have given their support to the project whose aim is to make available in Arabic, Persian and Turkish information about the Shoah, Judeo-Muslim relations and Jewish culture.

     

    Philosophy behind the Aladdin Project

    The Aladdin Project came about because of an increasing awareness of the proliferation of negationist discourse in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has put up barriers to finding historically accurate information about the Shoah in Arabic, Persian or Turkish. The Aladdin Project set out to alleviate this situation and thus to help bring about a dialogue based on knowledge and mutual respect.

    A name common to many languages, Aladdin is a symbol both of the union of cultures and of the Enlightenment.

     

    Wide-ranging support

    The Aladdin Project is under the patronage of:

    • Mr Jacques Chirac, former President of France, President of the Chirac Foundation
    • HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan
    • Mr Gerhard Schröder, former Chancellor of Germany
    • Mr Ely Ould Mohamed Vall, former Head of State of Mauritania
    • Mr Abdurrahman Wahid, former President of Indonesia

    Hundreds of academics and prominent personalities from the Arab-Muslim world have already joined the Aladdin Project’s Committee of Conscience as have several important European figures. The project also has wide-ranging diplomatic support.

     

    Achievements

    An internet site in 5 languages : www.projetaladin.org

    Available in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, English and French, the site presents, in a straightforward fashion:

    • The history of the Shoah,
    • An introduction to Jewish culture, the history of the Jewish people and Judaism,
    • The history of the relationship between Muslims and Jews during a centuries-long period up to the present day, detailing both periods of peaceful co-existance and periods of conflict.

     

    A digital library: www.aladdinlibrary.org

    The digital library is the first ever collection of books dealing with the Shoah in Arabic and Persian. It includes such seminal works as If this is a man, by Primo Levi, and The Diary of Anne Frank, neither of which has been available in these languages before now.

    Books can be downloaded for free; printed versions are also available. In a reciprocal gesture, translations of Arabic and Persian reference works are also planned.

     

    Presentation of Aladdin Project (French)

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    A dynamic project

    The launch conference of May 27th 2009 marks the first stage of the Aladdin Project. Various other inititiatives are already underway.

    A variety of diplomatic inititatives have been undertaken to counter the spread of negationism. The Aladdin Project has been presented at various international conferences notably in the context of European-Mediterranean dialogue.

    In collaboration with a team of French researchers, a summer school is being planned, with the aim of bringing together researchers from Europe and the Mediterranean basin in order to reflect on the origins
    of present and future conflicts and to consider ways in which they can be resolved or avoided.

    The Aladdin Library will be expanded to include translations of reference works from Arabic and Persian, in order that they can be more widely known and thus contribute to this process of inter-cultural dialogue.

     

    Launch conference

    The Aladdin Project has been unveiled on Friday March 27th 2009 at the UNESCO headquaters in Paris, in the presence of:

    • Mr Abdoulaye Wade, President of Senegal and President of the Islamic Conference
    • Mr Jacques Chirac, former President of France, President of the Chirac Foundation
    • Mr Ely Ould Mohamed Vall, former Head of State of Mauritania
    • HRH Princess Haya Rashid Al-Khalifa of Bahrain
    • Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director General of the UNESCO
    • Mrs Simone Veil, Honorary President of the Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah
    • Mr David de Rothschild, President of the Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah
    • Mrs Catherine Colonna, Ambassador, Permanent French Delegate to UNESCO
    • Mr Jacques Andréani, Ambassador, President of the Committee of Conscience of the Aladdin Project

    At the end of the launch a symbolic declaration has been signed by Mr Abdoulaye Wade, Mr. Jacques Chirac and Mrs Simone Veil: A Call to Conscience, calling to fight against negationist discourse and for the deepening of a dialogue founded on knowledge and mutual respect.

    Text of the Call to Conscience (pdf)

    The conference was presented by Serge Moati.

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