The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Party rolls with war machine

Kuwait/Iraq border, March 20 (Reuters): A group of wealthy Kuwaitis celebrated what they hope will be Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s downfall by partying through the night at a farm on the Iraqi border.

Over jam sandwiches and warm camel milk, they began a nightlong vigil from their luxury frontline lookout as the countdown to the USled invasion of Iraq ticked closer. “Saddam will crack under the pressure of the bombs,” said one of the guests.

Twelve years after Iraqi troops invaded this tiny Gulf state, Kuwaiti hopes are running high that Saddam will finally fall. _Most citizens of the tiny Gulf state are sitting out the war at their homes in Kuwait City, about 120 km south of the border. Some have left the country.A few hardier souls drove north through checkpoints for a surreal night out at the farm, located in a closed military zone.

Dressed in flowing white robes and chequered headdresses, friends gathered for a “diwaniya”, a centuriesold traditional informal gathering.

Sipping syrupy tea under a full moon obscured by a gritty sandstorm, they listened for the sound of action while munching snacks.

For most of the night, the groaning of the farm’s camels was the loudest sound that could be heard.

“They are going to blast Saddam,” said Mutlaaq alMutairi, who entertained the gathering with bawdy impersonations of the Iraqi leader rallying his troops.

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