Qahwa postcard

Shireen Dew is a graphic designer based in UK who was born in Bahrain! We stumbled upon each other through the social networks. She was interested is one of my photos from Muharraq. She asked for my permission to use it in a postcard design and of course I didn’t mind it. When Shireen sent me the final design I was so happy with it and wanted to share it here :)

The text below are written by Shireen.


Business and social interactions have always been closely related and one thing they often share is the ritual of coffee-drinking. Tracing it back to its roots, I can see why coffee is still the best excuse for a get-together.

Coffee houses rapidly multiplied in the UK, since first introduced to Oxford in 1652 and they soon became popular meeting places. Coffee – unlike alcohol – was recognised as the ideal accompaniment to clear-headed discussion and debate for all kinds of professions.

Curiously, the Stock Exchange, Lloyds of London, Christie’s and Sotheby’s were all founded on the premises of successful coffee houses, which tells us something of the natural relationship between social and business activities. Though the notion of café society alludes to Parisian life, we can look further East for the origins of the coffee shop…

The word itself is a derivation of the Arabic ‘qahwa’ and Mocha was for a while, the exclusive exporter of the bean, which originates from the deserts of Yemen. Coffee drinking spread into Europe through trade and colonisation.

True, the Arabian coffee shops frequented by men may be a dying breed, but the habit lives on in shopping mall cafés, where women also congregate for a ritual that would once have been restricted to the domestic environment. For both sexes, the coffee gathering is an opportunity for talk and for trade.

The model for modern socio-business networking comes from the East, where leisure and commerce have always existed together comfortably.

Seeing people face to face is still the best way to build a business relationship. And what better way to do it than over a coffee?



You can check Shireen’s previous postcards here