In a first, Hebrew university launches class in UAE studies

Since the Abraham Accords were signed two-and-a-half years ago, some half a million Israelis have visited the United Arab Emirates for diplomacy, business or to sample the Gulf state’s high-end, luxurious tourism. Now, for the first time, an Israeli university has launched a certified undergraduate course offering students the chance to gain a deeper understanding of what its new regional ally is all about, writes Ruth Marks Eglash for Jewish Insider.

Titled ‘The Geopolitics of the UAE,’ the course, which started on Sunday 12 March and is offered within the department of Islamic and Middle Eastern studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, delves into the history of the economic powerhouse, explores its unique physical geography and influential role in a volatile region. The course also looks at the delicate make-up of the country’s people – from the native Arabian tribes to the multinational foreign residents – as well as the political policies and philosophies that turned it into a friend of Israel.

“The Abraham Accords is only a small part of the course,” Moran Zaga, the founder of the programme and one of the few researchers of the UAE in Israel, told Jewish Insider. Rather, she continued, “the central question that we will explore is the stable foundations of the United Arab Emirates, and within that we will learn about the country’s physical geographical, its social geography, its history, about the tribes that make up its population, the structure of its political authority and its political and economic principles.”
Full report on the Jewish Insider site