News Release

RootsTech Connect Conference Features Middle Eastern Presenters

Free Virtual Event to Be Held February 25-27, 2021

For those interested in discovering their family histories and preserving their own stories for future generations, the 2021 RootsTech Connect conference is a powerful opportunity. This year’s conference, held February 25-27, 2021, will be entirely virtual and available free to everyone.

The conference will feature well-known keynote speakers each day. Middle Easterners will be especially interested in presenters who offer research training in specific Middle Eastern countries and cultures. 

RootsTech is presented by FamilySearch International, a service sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch’s goal is to help everyone discover, gather and connect to their families, past, present and future. In previous years, large conferences were held in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, and London, UK, but the current pandemic has opened an opportunity for all people to advance their family search skills, whether beginners or sophisticated genealogists.


There will be more than 1,000 classes available on a variety of topics. All of the content will be translated into 11 languages and selected classes will be available in additional languages, such as Arabic.

“There are so many great classes this year; something for everyone to learn more about their family history,” said Omar Kadri, FamilySearch Area Manager for Middle East and Northern Africa. “As someone with Middle Eastern heritage, I am so excited to have fantastic experts from the area teaching in this year’s conference.”

Topics of interest to those with Middle Eastern heritage include:

  • Keeping Family Records to Preserve Identity in the Middle East, Elie T. Elias
  • Insight on Maronite Church Records, Elie T. Elias,
  • Ottoman Records for Family History, Jonathan McCollum
  • An Introduction to Middle East Family History, Jonathan McCollum
  • “I Want My Mummy”: Researching Egyptian Family Trees, Penny Walters
  • Births, Marriages and Deaths in Egypt, Abdallah Ragab Fikry Mohamed  
  • An Overview of Tribal Genealogies in the Middle East, Dr. Hassan Al Amri  

“In addition to the classes, there will also be many different vendors showcasing some of the latest tools in the industry,” Kadri said. “We look forward to welcoming people online that have never been able to attend previous conferences. We hope everyone will also invite their family members to participate so families can work together to preserve and share their heritage.”  

For free registration and to learn more about the virtual conference, please visit


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