Jubilation expressed Wednesday by Kuwaiti citizens living in Utah was countered by Palestinians concerned about their families still living in liberated Kuwait.
Their loved ones, they say, could find themselves in a living hell - even after the war ends."I am afraid that some people with vengeance will press their frustrations against Palestinians because there will be no Iraqis in Kuwait," said Mohamed Nimer, a University of Utah graduate student. "Because of untrue propaganda spread by the Western media about Palestinians being pro-Hussein, their lives could be in danger."
Nimer was born in the West Bank in 1960 but moved with his family to Kuwait a year later. Many of his and his wife's family members still live in Kuwait. They're jobless and, Nimer believes, living in danger. Yet they have no place to go.
"If they are expelled, they will wander again as we did after the occupation of our homeland in 1967," Nimer said. "Those Palestinians who live in Kuwait aren't there by choice."
Mansour Awadh, a Kuwaiti citizen attending Weber State University, also expressed concern for his family "at home."
"We are feeling happy because they liberated Kuwait with very few casualties, which is the most important thing we are worried about," he said. "We are feeling excellent - boosted up 100 percent. But we are still worried about our family."
Since early August, Awadh and his brothers living in Ogden haven't heard from siblings, uncles and aunts. Their parents flew to Utah to visit their sons a year ago and have been stranded here since.
While monitoring news reports of Desert Storm, they also await word from their embassy.
"We are following embassy instructions," Awadh said. "After Kuwait is livable - four to six months - we are all going home."
But Awadh is realistic about peace in the Middle East. "It will take time," he said. "But we appreciate all the allies have done. If they really get rid of Saddam Hussein, they will be doing a favor - not only for the world, but also Iraq.
"It's the greatest gift we can give them. They would be happy."
Nimer's future is unsure.
"I don't know what our plans are now," he said. When Nimer completes his doctorate, he and his young family will have to leave the United States.
His parents live in Jordan. Nimer's father was laid off by the Kuwaiti government in 1990 - two months before the Iraqi invasion. They had to leave the country.
But Jordan's a foreign country for Nimer. He's more at home in Utah.
"I don't know where we will go. But we won't be able to go to Kuwait or the West Bank. It's not a happy story, is it?"