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Facebook Role in Middle East Protests 'Overstated': CEO

A wounded Egyptian man is brought away from front lines during a clash between pro- and anti-Mubarak protesters February 2, 2011.
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A wounded Egyptian man is brought away from front lines during a clash between pro- and anti-Mubarak protesters February 2, 2011.

The role of Facebook in the Middle East revolutions is "overstated," says one prominent Jordanian businessman.

Luay Abu-Ghazaleh, CEO of a self-named intellectual property company, says that while Facebook had a role, the level of Internet proficiency is not as high in the Middle East as it is in more developed parts of the world.

And many of the protestors in Tahrir Square, the elderly for example, are not Internet-literate. The revolution occurred because it "was the will of the people," he said.

Abu-Ghazaleh just reopened his Cairo and Bahrain offices, but his Libyan office remains shut until further notice. All of his employees are safe and accounted for so far, he says.

He made the comments in an interview during CNBC's exclusive coverage of the Young President's Organization, a 60-year-old organization, which until now has shunned media attention and tried to maintain a low profile.

Its members, from nearly 200 countries, control companies with nearly $6 trillion in revenue worldwide.

Abu-Ghazaleh, along with Meir Arnon, a turnaround expert, spoke with me in Denver, where the conference is being held. Click on the video above to watch the entire interview.


Watch for TV reports by Michelle Caruso-Cabrera from the YPO event in Denver today on "Power Lunch" at 1pm ET on CNBC.

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