But Mr. Kandari nonetheless has his hands full: Judging from the early hours of Wednesday morning, the war on the disco front is having mixed success. As American tunes blast over Sultana's huge sound system, and decorative fog pours from pipes in the ceiling, a number of young men describing themselves as Kuwaiti take to the dance floor, while others make a beeline for the bar. A young Saudi woman named Reba, scantily clad in black velvet and pearls, looks on admiringly and declares, "The Kuwaiti men have the best style!"
But nearby, a 19-year-old Kuwaiti youth, who gives his name only as Butres, isn't so thrilled. He acknowledges that he has been sent to Sultana's by the embassy to collect names of misbehaving Kuwaitis. Observing the crowd illuminated by strobe lights, the citizen sentinel admits, "There's not really a lot I can do to stop anyone right here. All I can do is report back."
The anti-disco campaign is controversial among some Kuwaiti youths in Cairo. "In Kuwait, we were free, so they can't expect us to live under severe restrictions here," complains Abul Azziz el Naqar, a lanky 19-year-old who says he hopes to join the military.
Ashrad el Qattan, 18, says he whiles away much of his free time hanging out with his buddies in one of Cairo's two Pizza Hut restaurants. He says he has no appetite for dancing these days, although he understands why others do. "Everyone is just so frustrated," explains the nattily dressed young man.
His own life was turned upside down the day he fled Kuwait last summer in his Mercedes coupe. "I was crying, seeing the streets burning behind me," he recalls. His family soon relocated for the duration in Cairo, where they own an apartment.
Next fall he plans to start studying medicine at the American University in Cairo. Kuwait has student deferments, so this should keep him out of the military. "Of course I thought about joining the army," he says, "but I would rather study. The troops over there now can surely carry it."
Meanwhile, until school begins next fall, he's not worried about having too much free time. "In Egypt," he says with a smile, "I have fun everywhere I go."
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