By GEORGE N. SFEIR
The speaker of the Egyptian Parliament, Fathi Srour, accompanied by the Secretary General and former Counsellor of State Sami Mahran, visited the Library on July 7.
They met in the Librarian's office with Dr. Billington and senior staff from the Law Library, the Near East Section the Overseas Operations Division and the Congressional Research Service. The two guests were greeted by Rubens Medina, the Law Librarian, and George N. Sfeir, the senior legal specialist in charge of the Arab jurisdictions at the Law Library. Mr. Medina and Mr. Sfeir were in Cairo in May, where they met with Mr. Srour and Mr. Mahran for a briefing of Egyptian parliamentarians and government officials on the operations of the Global Legal Information Network (GLIN), which Egypt is expected to join later this year.
GLIN is a project administered by LC's Law Library that has established a database for the sharing of legal information of countries around the world over the Internet.
Dr. Billington briefed the guests on the Library's electronic resources and the importance to the Library of its overseas office in Cairo, which handles acquisitions from the Arab countries and other nations in the area. Mr. Srour, who is a professor of law and an author of several constitutional law treatises available at the Law Library, told Dr. Billington about the steps Egypt is taking to transform its economy and the role the Egyptian Parliament is playing in the corresponding transformation of the law. While at the Law Library, Mr. Srour obtained the texts of recent Supreme Court decisions as well as recent works on human rights, investment guarantees, antitrust legislation, and other economic subjects which the Egyptian Parliament is facing.
To facilitate the legislative reform process and give support to decision makers, the Egyptian government recently embarked on an ambitious program of building a digital information system. The hub of this activity is the Information and Decision Support Center, which will probably provide considerable support for Egypt's future participation in GLIN.
Mr. Srour told Dr. Billington that he looked forward to more cooperation between the Egyptian Parliament and the Library of Congress.
Mr. Sfeir is senior legal specialist of the Directorate of Legal Research of the Law Library.