The Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), founded in 1880, seeks to foster Biblical scholarship and is the largest organization of its kind. In order to increase the participation in Biblical scholarship in non-Western countries, SBL has launched the International Cooperation Initiative (ICI), which offers for example free access to hundreds of scholarly books.
June 2012 I was asked to become the country representative for Egypt for the SBL ICI Liaison network and got the following job description:
The role of country representative is crucial in the Liaison Network for the flow of information between SBL and the academics, institutions, and professional organizations in your country. Specifically, you would inform ICI and SBL about meetings, conferences, opportunities, and other initiatives in your country, which we would promote and advertise. Moreover, you would be responsible for dispersing information about ICI programs and SBL, including our newsletter, to recipients in your country. We also hope to encourage membership in SBL through this initiative.
I have accepted this task with the comment that “if an Egyptian person would like to take this role in the future, this would be fine.” As for now, I call on all Egyptians involved in Biblical Studies to make themselves known to me and to keep me informed about any Egyptian initiatives in our field or any questions or suggestions that I can share with SBL.