John Simpson, 22 November 1990
The rainy season arrived here on 27 October. As the first warm drops fell, the dusty ground gave out an unfamiliar odour, sweet, pungent and musty. Cars slithered on the slick roads, and soft dates, knocked from the palm-trees, made walking dangerous. Hassan, our driver, turned up in a black suit with stripes like railway lines, to mark the end of summer. It clashed badly with his plastic sandals and his brown tie. I looked out of my hotel window and watched the rain with a certain frisson: I remembered being told by a leading Palestinian figure that Saddam Hussein had forecast that an attack by the Americans would come soon after the first rains.