Down in the basement of a bombed building in a heavily shelled area of Darayya there is a secret library. Around it, shattered buildings that were once homes and offices lie in treacherous ruins. No signs mark the presence of the library. Locals fear that Syrian government planes will bomb it if they find where it is. In a war zone, books are dangerous. While the streets above echo with rifle fire and shelling, below is a haven of peace and tranquillity. More than 14,000 books are stacked neatly on home-made shelves, arranged according to author and subject. They are checked in and out meticulously. Those within read quietly, drinking tea on comfortable sofas. A small oasis of normality in a country at war with itself. The secret library was the brainchild of a group of former university students whose education was interrupted when war broke out and was then ended altogether by the siege that followed.