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Citizens of the Global Village Think About the Year Ahead : Around the world, people tend to look at the year ahead through the prism of the problems closest at hand. : SAUDI ARABIA

January 01, 1991|Times correspondents asked a variety of ordinary citizens in different countries about their hopes and fears for 1991. Their answers ranged from the blatantly political to the guardedly personal

Lt. Col. Abdel Mohsin Abdul Hamid al Sultan, 42, a 20-year Saudi army veteran attached to an M-60 tank brigade in the front line of the multinational forces confronting Saddam Hussein's troops near the Iraq-Kuwait border.

"It is not easy to say what happens in your mind, thinking about these events. Very naturally, I (think) about my kids and my family, all of the time. But I remember we are here also to protect our families.

"If you look at what has happened in Kuwait, and even in Iraq, all the people there and the problems, it is terrible. You don't want your kids, really, to experience that.

"Also, you cannot compare any of this to our main goal: all the rest of what we are doing is nothing compared to protecting our holy places in Mecca and Medina.

"Frankly, we are very peaceful. We are optimistic because we have to be optimistic, and we hope for the better. We do not care about the media, whatever they say about whether we are ready to fight, ready to fight against our Arab brothers. Let them say it. We will mobilize at any time. As fast as we receive the orders, we will go. Really, we are ready for all circumstances. We have a goal to achieve here. That is it. We are soldiers, whatever comes."

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