THE DREAMS OF working in an automobile-manufacturing plant, of travelling overseas to learn how to build cars, then coming back to Gaza to make them.

But the closest he ever gotten is loading tuk-tuks - the motorcycles with cargo beds. He has never held a regular job.

He is stoic for a 22 years old, though this may be an acquired response to adversity.

His father is mentally ill, Mr. Gerim says. given to flying into destructive rages over the slightest disappointments.

His family - two younger brothers, their sister and their parents - all share a single room with tile floor and blankets but no beds.

The kitchen floor is sand. The family's debts are choking them, he says.

Mr. Gerin's industriousness shows at the protests, as does his stoicism.

On Thursday, he arrived early at his family's tent at the protest site, a roomy contraption that was provided to them by the organizers, and set about sweeping the tarpaulin floor for the first of several times, before-

Building a fire and cooking eggplants and tomatoes, that city workers were distributing to the needy.

Al lunch, a charity handed out meals of chicken and rice, and then Mr. Gerim swept the floor of  crumbs and bones, singing a love song as he did.

He has no girlfriend, and no hope of marrying. ''There is no money, and no work,'' he explained. Marriage is not for free.''

Later he assembled kites from sticks, clear plastic and paper, and talked about attaching soda cans to them stuffed with gasoline-soaked rags, to sail over the fence. 

AT 10 p.m. he and his friends began barbecuing a feast for 12. It didn't end until 2: 30 am. It takes a long time to cook 22 pounds of chicken wings on a grill 18 inches across.

Sitting around the fire, a friend named Abu Moaz, 25, said he wanted to use a kite to drop leaflets in Hebrew and Arabic warning Israeli soldiers to ''evacuate your houses and return to the countries from which you came. ''

Everyone liked the sound of that.

Mr. Gerim went home to sleep, but was back at the tent at  8.a.m. on Friday sweeping again, building the wood fire for drinking tea with his neighbors.

The Sadness in Honor and Serving of this operational research publishing continues to Part 4.


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