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Israel - UAE - Bahrain People-to-People Ties are Taking Off

It is absolutely amazing to see what is happening in the Middle East. After decades of conspiracy theories, misinformation and propaganda, the Arabs of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are clawing at the chance to get to know who Israelis really are. And Israelis, after years of cold peace with Egypt and Jordan - treaties signed with governments which have meant no more than the absence of war and some security and a few business ties - are jumping at the bit to create real relationships with the Arab world. As a tour guide of Israel, I cannot wait to be able to host my first clients from the Gulf. A classmate from my tour guide course 13 years ago is already planning the first kosher tour to Dubai! Here are some of the things going on:

First of all... OMG this. You can see the address of the 27-year old UAE Minister of State for Youth Affairs Shamma Al Mazrui to the Jewish community for Shabbat Shuva before Yom Kippur about Shabbat, teshuva and peace.

Here are 6 amazing ways Israelis and Emiratis are reaching out to each other:

Numerous journalists from Israel, the UAE and Bahrain joined together for a webinar to get to know each other and talk about ways they can collaborate and introduce their societies to each other.

Jews who emigrated from Bahrain finally have an opportunity to go back to visit the country and they are jumping for joy. Check out this great article about the Jewish community there both past and present:

Dubai hotel and transportation corporation Al-Habtoor is going to open an Israel office.

CNN just ran an article about traveling to Abu Dhabi.... and Israelis are squealing in excitement.

The Bahraini and Israeli tourism ministers spoke recently and among other things, discussed plans with the UAE for joint tourism packages.

It helps that within weeks, kosher restaurants have been popping up all over...

An Israeli-Arab soccer player who has played for Israel's national team, just signed to play with a team in the UAE. Congrats to Diaa Sabia and best wishes at Dubai al-Nasr!

Israelis have covered a hit UAE song to great reviews.

And finally, the Crown Prince of the UAE, Mohammed bin Zayed, has proclaimed that he wants to visit Jerusalem. Of course, the Palestinians have burnt him in effigy and trampled his photo so that might be a tall task for now if he doesn't want to end up like King Abdullah I of Jordan who apparently came to make peace with Israel back in 1951 and got assassinated by a Palestinian outside the al-Aqsa Mosque.

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