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FamilySearch, RootsTech events part of WorldExpo in Dubai


FamilySearch recently hosted two events at the World Expo in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, that coincided with the RootsTech 2022 family history conference on March 3-5. 

More than 190 countries are represented at the World Expo, which is from October 2021 to March 31, 2022. The Expo’s theme is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.”

One event was a special luncheon at the United States Pavilion under the theme of “Connecting Families, Preserving Heritage” and guests came from across the Middle East and North Africa, including government ministers, record custodians, and religious and cultural affairs leaders, according to the Church’s Middle East Newsroom.

The second was a RootsTech event at the Opportunity Forum with guest speaker Sheikh Salem bin Sultan bin Saqr Al-Qasimi, from the ruling family of Sharjah and Ras Al-Khaimah, and he shared how family stories connect people and the importance of connecting families to preserve their heritage. 

“I find great inspiration from learning about and remembering our ancestors and what they stood for and walked towards,” Sheikh Al-Qasimi said. “Thanks to the work of FamilySearch, we are able to learn more about our ancestors.”

FamilySearch CEO Steve Rockwood, left, Sheikh Salem bin Sultan bin Saqr Al-Qasimi and Elder Kevin S. Hamilton, a General Authority Seventy and executive director of the Family History Department, with his wife, Claudia, at a FamilySearch event during the WorldExp in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on March 4, 2022.

FamilySearch CEO Steve Rockwood, left, Sheikh Salem bin Sultan bin Saqr Al-Qasimi and Elder Kevin S. Hamilton, a General Authority Seventy and executive director of the Family History Department, with his wife, Claudia, at a FamilySearch event during the WorldExp in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on March 4, 2022.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

FamilySearch representatives also helped visitors at the United States Pavilion to discover their personal family history and to build and print their own family tree to take home as a keepsake.

“Everyone has a history and a story, and hearing, sharing, and preserving those stories makes each of us better,” said Rockwood. 

Elder Kevin S. Hamilton, a General Authority Seventy and executive director of the Family History Department, also shared ideas on preserving families, heritage and culture and how technology can help preserve the past. 

“As we connect to each other in a common purpose to preserve our family and share our heritage, we believe the next generation will be positively impacted,” Elder Hamilton said. “We have great hope for the future as we continue to work together to document and preserve the human story. This will allow us to better understand our shared humanity, our common foundation, our common heritage. Our goal is to try to put together the entire family tree of humanity.”

RootsTech 2022 went virtual for the second year in a row with seven international keynote speakers, a welcome by FamilySearch CEO Steve Rockwood and the theme of “Choose Connection.”

During the RootsTech concluding session, Jen Allen, director of events at FamlySearch, shared some of her experiences in Dubai live with Jonathan H. Wing, RootsTech manager.  It also included a short discussion between Rockwood and Sheikh Al-Qasimi.

Last week, Allen told Church News that events recorded in Dubai are being edited and would be released in coming weeks on RootsTech.org

For more on the events at the World Expo, see the Middle East Newsroom.

Read more coverage of RootsTech Connect 2022

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