EXCLUSIVE - 'I Want A Husband Who Can Satisfy Me In Bed'

'Since Cain killed Abel, war has all been about young men killing each other', a 32 year-old translator is telling me, over Arabic music and the delicate light cast by stained glass windows.

'All of us have been affected in this war, but the main purpose has been to get rid of young men.' The absence of young men in Syria is glaringly obvious to any visitor to its major cities. In the cafés, in the markets and in the streets there are simply less of them around – and those that are are wearing badly fitting khakis, on their way or from a military billet. 

'Ask the barbers', says Shukran, 'and they will tell you they have lost three quarters of their business.' But at the same time, the chaos of war has allowed some women the freedom to pursue a lesbian relationship, in a country that - at least technically - bans gay relationships.