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Fizzing with boyish exuberance, Saudi programmer Zainalabdin Tawfiq could be mistaken for a college freshman, but the popularity of his "honesty" app has shone a spotlight on the conservative kingdom's nascent tech scene.Tawfiq catapulted to fame when he took time out of his day job as a business analyst last year to develop an anonymous messaging tool called Sarahah – honesty in Arabic – that subsequently topped the charts for app downloads.That a Saudi app could gain such success spotlights hidden potential for tech innovation and entrepreneurship at a time of economic transformation in an ultraconservative country.Tawfiq said he is in negotiations with venture capitalists from the United States, China and the Arab world, without disclosing details, in response to critics who question whether or not his app can be effectively monetized.
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