Abdul Awadh was stranded in this northern Utah city along with other members of his family when his native Kuwait was invaded.

But being half a world away hasn't dimmed his passion and worry for his homeland or his keen interest in the Persian Gulf war.He speaks of his sisters still in Kuwait, his desire for peace, his sleepless nights. And he speaks of the reasons Americans are fighting a war in the Persian Gulf - a war many see as his and his countrymen's battle.

He also talks about the strained relationships with Palestinian acquaintances in Ogden and his close friendship with an Iraqi who lives here.

His brother, Nasser Awadh, takes a more cynical view of the conflict - and Iraqis.

"They (the Iraqis) are just not civilized," says Nasser. He also admits he doesn't care too much for the Palestinians "and they know it."

But Abdul nonetheless hates to see his friendships with Palestinians strained by differences over the war.

"They were our friends. We just see things differently now," he said.

Hassan Ibrahim, another Weber State student from Kuwait living in Ogden, says Saddam Hussein didn't mention the Palestinians until 10 days after the invasion.

Ibrahim's parents are in Kuwait, and he has not been able to get through to them since Saddam invaded the country. He says the Awadhs are like his family since he is here alone.

"Of course Kuwait should be freed," said Ibrahim. "But although we're happy Americans are fighting for that freedom, we feel sad for any lives that will be lost."

Abdul and Nasser live with their parents, Layla Ali and Abdul Rassol Awadh, and another brother, Mansour.

The television, tuned to CNN, drones softly in the background.

"It's on constantly," says Abdul. "It shocks me what I see on TV. I cannot picture what it's like there. I wonder if I will ever be able to go home."

He says his mother cries when she sees people upset over their dead children.

His parents came to Ogden last summer to celebrate their sons' graduation from Weber State. They had airplane tickets to return home to Kuwait, with their sons, on Aug. 31. But the Aug. 2 invasion left them trapped here.

Although they have graduated, the brothers continue to take classes at Weber State so they will have something to do.

Abdul says his father, who used to get together with old friends, goes daily to the mall.

"It's sort of like going to work. And mother's addicted to the mall, too," he laughs.

Abdul says some of his acquaintances give him a hard time about Americans fighting - while he goes to school.

"But I'm a student, not a soldier, I tell them."

Besides, the battle in Kuwait is not just for Kuwaitis.

"Kuwait is the problem of everybody. You can't let one man tie a knot in the flow of oil. That's why America is there," said Abdul.

"We appreciate the way Americans are standing up for us. I say that because I admire them, not because I am brown-nosing . . . Still," he adds, "there are times when I say, `what . . .are Americans doing there?' "