The American Jewish Committee opened its office in Abu Dhabi this week, its 13th overseas branch and first in an Arab country.
The century-old global Jewish advocacy organization named Marc Sievers, a former US ambassador to Oman, as the inaugural director of the new UAE office.
“AJC Abu Dhabi is truly historic,” said AJC CEO David Harris in a statement on Monday. “It will enable AJC to expand on our decades of bridge-building in the region and create a wider network of stakeholders in the new relationships made possible by the Abraham Accords.”
In an address to the organization’s virtual global forum on Monday, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan welcomed the new AJC office.
“We are thrilled to have you,” Sheikh Abdullah told Jason Isaacson, AJC’s chief policy and political affairs officer. “I hope that your team here in the UAE will feel at home and we will do everything possible to make your presence here worthwhile.”
He said that the presence of the AJC in the UAE “is part of our journey and is part of changing mindsets. So let’s keep on working closely and understanding each other better and trying to look forward rather than looking backward.”