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NewsForge: Saudi Open Source Conference Opens Minds

Jan 16, 2004, 10:00 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robin Miller)

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"It was a small, one-day conference aimed at government and industry IT heads. I counted a maximum of 127 men in the auditorium. A few women attended, but in accordance with Saudi tradition they were in a separate room, watching through closed-circuit TV. Two easily-identified Microsoft trolls were also in the main auditorium audience, asking the same questions Microsoft hirelings ask at open source conferences all over the world, but they didn't make much headway.

"This was the fourth in a series of government-sponsored discussions that are supposed to help develop a national IT plan for Saudi Arabia. I was invited to speak by Dr. Khaled A. Al-Ghoneim, CEO of Al-Elm Information Security, president of the Saudi Computer Society, and co-founder of the Saudi Linux User Group, which is part of the Computer Society..."

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