Hello, I’m Sami Mubarak. I currently live in Saudi Arabia. I’ve known about EA for about a year or so, but I never had anyone to discuss it with in person. All of my interactions with EA’s have been online.
During the pandemic, I have been lucky to be “adopted” by two EA groups. I joined their online meetings and participated in the book clubs, I finally had someplace where I can engage with EA’s face to face and even make friends with them. I would see familiar faces every week and feel like a part of a community.
Unfortunately, this is coming to an end. Since the restrictions are loosening, local groups will return to hosting in-person meetings and I, along with others in my situation, will lose our EA family.
Given the lack of access to local groups that many EA’s face (e.g. Not living close to local groups, disabilities that make it hard to travel to events, responsibilities during meeting time) I think creating a virtual place for those EA’s would be a good idea, to take the role of a local group. The plan to have regular online meetings to discuss a wide range of effective altruism related ideas, enjoy each other's company, and support each other with our goals to make a positive impact.
Potential benefits include:
1. Increasing geographical diversity of the EA community.
2. Members will learn more about EA and related fields.
3. Personal connections that reducing value drift.
4. Increasing motivation to take action (e.g. work in EA related projects, apply for EA jobs, donate, post on the forum, etc).
On the 1st of July, I will release a poll to decide the most popular meeting times and create a group that gets together at those times. If other time slots are also popular, we could split into multiple groups based on availability.
If you are or know potential members please direct them here https://www.facebook.com/EA.Virtual.Group/