Bahraini security forces fire tear gas outside Costa Coffee on 15 December
The repression has hardly let up, even as the kingdom says it is instituting reforms. And with no place to legally organize, this coffee shop has become an unlikely gathering place for human rights activists and opposition leaders. Indeed, the manager says business has recently increased by 50 percent.
“We disappeared because we had never seen tanks and bullets,” said Ala’a Shehabi, 31, an economics lecturer who avoided the cafe until recently. “But now we have removed the cape of fear and come into the public once again.”