What do you do when your countries tearing itself apart at the seems, blood, death and explosions everywhere ?....you bake cookies !
A brave Syrian blogger has taken to the web to reveal what life is really like under constant bombardment from President Bashar Assad's troops.
With an ever present background of explosions, death and chaos, Big Al talks of how, with time on his hands, he's become a mean baker ever since the 17-month uprising began.
Out of work after fighting forced his employer to shut down his firm, he busies himself with listening to Nine Inch Nails on his smartphone and trying to retain some sense of normality.
He watches back-to-back episodes of The Simpsons and 'drains' his DVD collection on a regular
With gunfire constantly popping in the distance, and the explosion of shells shaking his flat, he makes cookies and pizza and writes poetry about lost loved ones.
On the rare occasion he manages to obtain an internet connection, he uploads his thoughts, hopes and fears for the world to see.
His 'Thoughts and Feelings of a Syrian Freedom Fighter' blog is not filled with the grim pictures of executed children, wounded soldiers and ruined buildings coming out of Syria on a daily
Instead, he mostly reflects the mundane life in which he lives day-to-day, watching films, cooking and queuing for bread.
But then there are also 'run-for-your-life in terror' moments when he is caught in the crossfire and comes incredibly close to death.
In one post he writes: 'I'm a big guy, and I like to cook and bake. Since I've been jobless for more than a year, and there are no activities to do, I get busy baking.
'In fact, I made more pizzas and cookies this year than I did in the past three years.' In another post he simply says: 'I watched the news, got depressed and went back to bed.'
In a third, shortly after the United Nations-negotiated ceasefire was broken in mid-April, he wrote: 'April 14th, the quiet mornings are over.
'The horrible shelling sounds and smoke clouds are back at the same rate like Annan and his ceasefire plan didn't even exist.
'The same view I saw back in April 3rd and 4th. Buildings being hit by missiles and getting destroyed in two different areas.
'I knew this was coming, yet I couldn't help but to feel overwhelmed.'
And in a fourth post he detailed how he 'went out to a bakery, stood in a line that ballooned from 11 people to 100, bought a dollar's worth of bread and then returned home.'
Big Al, whose age is not revealed, lives in a concrete block apartment building in a working-class suburb of the city of Homs.
He writes how he keeps his laptop constantly plugged in because, although the power supply is patchy, he wants to soak up any electricity available should it switch on.
He recalls his feelings when a good friend was killed in street violence with a poem in the voice of what he imagined the killers thought.
It reads: 'We don't care if you're young or old, We don't care if you're big or small, We don't care if you're black or white, rich or poor, You're all the same in our eyes, You're all..
He drowns out the chaos outside by listening to Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Foo Fighters and his favourite, The End, by the Doors.
And he wonders what it would have been like not to be born in Syria in a post about Steve Jobs, the late Apple CEO whose biological father came from the ravaged country.
He asks what would have happened if Jobs had not been born in America and adopted by a Californian couple.
He said: '(He would) live a cheap house in a cheap area like Baba Amr or Khaldieh, and eventually get killed while the city is being bombed by the military or get arrested for tweeting something about freedom.
'How many Steve Jobs could my city and my country bring to the world? How many Steve Jobs have been killed by Assad's army in the past 41 years?'
His final post was made on July 29.
He said: 'My area has become a playfield for tanks and security forces are always around with their vehicles and pickup trucks, and of course their guns.
'This changed a lot in the past few days, to the worse, and we’re waiting for something to happen and change all that.'
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