In Egypt, which recently had its first contested presidential election -- it wasn't perfect. We were concerned that there were not international observers. We thought maybe some opposition candidates should have had a little broader access to the media. But nonetheless, it was a step in the right direction. And I remember -- (audio break) -- a choice on your presidential ballot, and that's an important step, and it was an exciting moment. And we had a lively debate over lunch, where I had people who were involved in a couple of different political parties, and it was really interesting because I had a small table, and I got two pieces of advice that were completely opposite. One person said the United States needed to mind our own business. The other said we needed to speak up even more vigorously to promote free speech and greater political participation. So it was interesting that at that one lunch table I heard that debate right there unfolding before my eyes.
A fascinating event in Saudi Arabia. I went to a late-night discussion known as a \"majlis.\" And of course usually the men gather for this discussion, and the women would gather separately. In this case, they invited both. Our host was very progressive, invited both men and women. But the moderator had a little problem with that, a little trouble. He wasn't used to calling on women, and so he kept calling on the men. And our ambassador noticed, and said, \"Well, you know, maybe you might want to hear from some women.\" And he said, \"Well, she talked\" -- pointing to me -- because I had answered a couple of questions. And so the ambassador said, \"Well, maybe we'd like to hear from some of the Saudi Arabian women.\" And at one point when he brought that up again, the moderator said, \"Oh, no,\" he said, \"the women don't want to say anything else.\" Well, the women at that point jumped up with their hands waving and said, \"Yes, we do.\" People everywhere -- people everywhere want to be heard. They want to have their opinions count. They want to participate in their society. They want to live in freedom. So that's the first pillar of our strategic framework -- our support for freedom and opportunity for all.
And so after we finished our conversation, as I was leaving, the translator followed me out of the room and grabbed my elbow and said, \"She wants to tell you something else. Please don't forget them. Please help them live in freedom.\"
City folk don't speak well for rural types, and the coasts don't seem to understand what's going on in the middle of the country and there's plenty of feeling of disillusionment going around in every direction. But that's the negative side of the story. It's easy for everyone to feel quite #dented and broken down.
And it's revenue. Revenue that comes from earning the attention and trust of all those people out there who feel invisible, who feel dented, and who are ready to be invited to the picnic where they feel seen, and where they feel like they belong.
I speak with 98.4% confidence that any library can reproduce what I've done with a small investment of funds and a moderate investment of time. I don't know where I came up with that figure, but I assure you that it's mathematically sound.10
After another fifteen minutes, staff members had fixed the problem, and the music was suddenly blasting from the speaker system. The kids cheered and even more of them lined up to play. It was the perfect illustration of how the library provided an experience these teens don't get anywhere else and how much it means to them (see figure 25). 59ce067264