Launch Conference


ABC News (USA)

From the western edge of the Muslim world, the King of Morocco has dared to tackle one of the most inflammatory issues in the Middle East conflict — the Holocaust. At a time when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's dismissal of the Holocaust has made the biggest headlines, King Mohammed VI has called the Nazi destruction of the Jews "one of the most tragic chapters of modern history," and has endorsed a Paris-based program aimed at spreading the word among fellow Muslims.

The king’s speech was read out at a ceremony launching the "Aladdin Project," an initiative of the Paris-based Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah (Holocaust) which aims to spread awareness of the genocide among Muslims.

It organizes conferences and has translated key Holocaust writing such as Anne Frank's diary into Arabic and Farsi. The name refers to Aladdin, the young man with the genie in his lamp, whose legend, originally Muslim, became a universally loved tale.

The Holocaust, the king's speech said, is "the universal heritage of mankind."

It was "a very important political act," said Anne-Marie Revcolevschi, director of the Shoah foundation. "This is the first time an Arab head of state takes such a clear stand on the Shoah," she said in a telephone interview.

Aljazeera TV

UNESCO’s headquarters today was the scene of the launch of a new project aimed at informing Muslims about the history of the Holocaust. David de Rothschild, president of the FMS which has initiated the project, said it enjoyed extensive support among Arab and Muslim political figures and intellectuals, including Prince Hassan of Jordan, former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, Algerian intellectual Mohammed Arkoun and Tunisian writer Lafif Lakhdar.

Le Nouvel Observateur (France)

Recently, a French association chaired by Simone Veil has been created to translate into Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Hindi, Pashtu, Dari, and other languages the history of the Holocaust. Excellent initiative! Late, of course, but more than ever necessary to give credibility to the idea that this story does not belong to Israel or to Jews but to all humanity.

This ambitious project, named Aladdin, is sponsored by UNESCO and has been endorsed by three hundred Muslim personalities. The king of Morocco sent them a bold message in which he recalled his grandfather Mohammed V’s opposition to the enforcement of anti-Semitic Vichy laws in the Sharif kingdom and had given orders that many European victims of the Nazis be welcomed in his kingdom...

With the magnificent Aladdin Project, we witness a remarkable leap. We must do everything to help those who are moving it forward. But they must recognize, as did Barack Obama, that we can no longer pretend to fight effectively against the deniers without making clear our objection to those who impede efforts that would lead to peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Egypt State Information Service

President Hosni Mubarak on Friday 27/3/2009 called for promoting peace in the whole world. Mubarak voiced hope that peace would be realized among different religions worldwide. This came in his message to a ceremony at UNESCO's Paris headquarters for an initiative, called Project Aladdin, which aims to stanch the spread of Holocaust denial and promote dialogue especially between Muslims and Jews.

The idea of the project is a courageous one, President Mubarak said in his message, read by Culture Minister Farouk Hosny. Current tension in coexistence is a problem that should be addressed by different initiatives and programs designed to making peoples acquainted with their neighbors, their religions, and their contribution to civilization, Mubarak said.

The Associated Press

A new Web site launched Friday aims to stanch the spread of Holocaust denial in the Muslim world by providing Arabic and Farsi speakers an accurate account of the history of the concentration camps. Leaders, former heads of state and delegates from 30 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia hailed the initiative, dubbed Project Aladdin, at a ceremony at UNESCO.

New York Times

The Aladdin project is only just beginning. Its work has yet to reach schools or bookstores in Morocco, although [its president] Anne-Marie Revcolevschi said Anne Frank's diary is among Holocaust memoirs available in Arabic and Farsi on the Internet, and is being sold under the counter in Iran. "People speak of a clash of civilizations, but it's more a clash of ignorance," she said. "We're countering this."

Agence France Presse (AFP)

Concerned that Holocaust denial is on the rise in the Muslim world, a French Jewish centre on Friday launched an initiative to offer free translations of works like The Diary of Anne Frank Dubbed Project Aladdin, the programme by the French Shoah Memorial Foundation is sponsored by former president Jacques Chirac and Jordan's Prince Hassan who have championed efforts to foster understanding between faiths.

BBC Arabic

The Aladdin online library offers books that can be downloaded free of charge. They are written by Holocaust survivors, such as Primo Levi’s book, “If This Is a Man”. The project’s Web site contains historical information on the Holocaust and an introduction to Jewish culture and Jewish-Muslim relations. There are also plans for the library to include books translated from Arabic into French and English. 

Middle East News Agency (Egypt)

President Hosni Mubarak sent the Minister of Culture to represent him at a ceremony in UNESCO for the launch of a cultural initiative dubbed the Aladdin Project. Many Arab and Muslim figures, including Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, Moroccan Minister Ahmed Toufiq and Tunisian Professor M’hamed Fantar took part in the conference. The aim of the project is to fill the gap of knowledge between cultures, particularly about the Holocaust.

Haaretz

Prominent figures from Europe and the Muslim world launched a new Web site aimed at curbing Holocaust denial. The site includes a history of Muslim-Jewish relations in English, French, Arabic and Farsi, the project's organizers said. The initiative, called Project Aladdin, hinges on the Internet site, which also carries a history of the Holocaust and offers online Arabic and Farsi translations of books including Anne Frank's Diary, the organizers said. Among those unveiling the project were Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, former French President Jacques Chirac and Abdurrahman Wahid, former president of Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation. Auschwitz survivor Simone Veil, one of France's most influential woman politicians, also spoke at the event. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton hailed Project Aladdin, which he said in a letter has the potential to play a vital role in countering denial with facts and putting a human face on something that otherwise might seem too terrible to believe.

France 24 (France’s state-owned satellite television station broadcasting in French, English and Arabic)

The Foundation for the Memory of the Holocaust has launched the Aladdin project. Objective: to fight against denial of the Holocaust, or Shoah, in the Muslim world. A source of documentaries on the Holocaust and Judeo-Muslim relations has been made available to Net users. New translations of the books 'If this is Man' by Primo Levi or 'The Diary of Anne Frank' in Arabic and Persian are available.

Al-Yawm As-Sabe’ (Egypt)

A cultural initiative named the Aladdin Project was launched on Friday under the patronage of UNESCO with the participation of the representatives of 30 governments from the Muslim world headed by Abdoulaye Wade, the President of Senegal and Chairman of the Islamic Conference Organization, Princess Haya Rashid Al-Khalifa of Bahrain and government ministers from Egypt, Morocco, Qatar and Tunisia. In his speech, former French President Jacques Chirac called for rejection of intolerance, racial hatred and religious fanaticism. Representatives of the Moroccan, Tunisian, Turkish, Algerian and Bosnian governments underlined the positive common values shared by Islam and Judaism and emphasized that as Muslims, they reject anti-Semitism and recognize the Holocaust as a crime against humanity and opposed to the basic principles of their cultural heritage and civilization. The Aladdin Project and UNESCO are working together to enhance intercultural and interreligious dialogue, particularly between Jews and Muslims, and fill the gap of knowledge between the two cultures.

Le Matin (Morocco)

Editorial: His Majesty Mohammed VI addressed an important message to the participants at a conference organized by the Aladdin Project in Paris. The conference, held on Friday at the UNESCO headquarters, marked the launch of the Aladdin Project, an initiative that seeks to establish an intercultural dialogue based on historical truth, mutual knowledge and mutual respect. These three concepts correspond to the three imperatives which challenge humanity today more than ever before. The King’s message marks a major milestone, for he invites us to a collective and true reading of History, to cast aside from this reading all ideological prejudice and presumptions. At a time when oblivion tends to become the rule, when facts are eclipsed and spirits deviated, the King has invited us to reflect “differently on one of the most tragic and indecipherable stigmas of contemporary history.”

Au Fait (Morocco)

Numerous personalities took part on Friday at the launch of the Aladdin Project at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. Aladdin is an ambitious program which seeks to fight against the denial of the genocide of European Jews during World War II. It aims to educate people about a historical truth that is often denied in the Arab and Muslim cultural world. André Azoulay, one of the founders of the Aladdin Project, said, “This conference will be remembered, for it marked the first time when we all gathered to resist the ignominy of Holocaust denial.”

Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)

Egypt and representatives of other Arab governments and European nations took part in a conference in Paris under the patronage of UNESCO to launch a cultural initiative named the Aladdin Project. Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, who currently chairs the Islamic Conference Organization; Ahmed Toufiq, Morocco’s minister for religious affairs; Mr. Mohammed Fantar, who holds the Tunisian President’s Chair for Dialogue of Civilizations, were among the dignitaries who addressed the conference. The Arab League was also represented at the conference by the head of its delegation in Paris. The King of Bahrain, the Emir of Qatar and French President Nicolas Sarkozy were also represented at the conference by their envoys. The Aladdin Project has been supported by the French government since its inception.