Kalb-Baladi

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Bill Gates Kicks Saudi Ass


Bill Gates cited Saudi Arabia as an example of why he believes limiting the rights of women can hinder economic growth.

During a meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, the co-founder and chairman of Microsoft Corp. described speaking to a segregated audience at a recent business seminar in Saudi Arabia.

On one side of an auditorium sat men. On the other side of a large partition was a "sea of black," Gates said -- women in full-length abayas that cover their faces, as required in Saudi Arabia.

A questioner asked if he thought Saudi Arabia could meet its ambitious goal of becoming one of the world's most competitive economies by 2010, Gates said.

"I said, Well, if you're not fully utilizing half the talent in the country, you're not going to get too close to the top,' " Gates said.

How did the audience react? "One side loved it," Gates quipped.

So what are the Saudis going to do now? Boycot Microsoft?

I love Bill Gates.

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