Pakistan: Bin Laden's Death Transforms Local Coffee House

This post is part of our special coverage The Death of Osama Bin Laden.

The death of Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, has benefited not only the United States and its President Barack Obama, but also some of the city's local business owners.

Coffity, a local coffee house, turned into the second hottest place in town overnight, the first one being the house where Bin Laden had been killed. As “the first coffee shop in Abbottabad […] serving espresso based coffees prepared from freshly ground beans” and offering “a smoke-free environment and free wifi,” Coffity has been transformed into a unique local press center, where international journalists gather exclusive information on the recent events from locals.

After Osama Bin Laden

Coffity's online presence has been growing as well. Early in the morning on May 2, 2011, Coffity's Facebook page was among the first outlets to inform the world about the crash of a U.S. helicopter involved in the Bin Laden hunt:

Hope everyone is safe and unaffected by the helicopter crash/blast

The Facebook page and Coffity's Twitter account (@coffity) show how business is now being done in a new way.

Norwegian journalist Mariane Vikas used Coffity to seek local sources for information regarding Osama's death. She asked:

Anyone in Abbottabad who has seen/know something about the operation against Osama bin Laden? Norwegian journalist seeking info. Pls message me.

Spanish journalist Julio Cesar Escovar added his request to the same thread:

And journalist from Spain too, any help?

A Pakistani user Umar Naveed offered to help:

contact me i tell you

Jessi Spaulding Johnson offered a piece of advice to Coffity:

Better up your prices. Journalists love their coffee. ;)

Initially, Coffity's owner didn't seem too prepared for the influx of large numbers of journalists:

Oops! Here's to hoping journalists don't drink a lot of coffee…

And today Coffity was obviously overworked:

The Coffity UPS is being used by media people; We can not turn the generator on today as there are a lot of voice conversations going on – so we will be closed for a while – until further notice. Non-coffee + non-blended items still available.

Justin Macdonald concluded:

Looks better than any Starbucks, hope business is good

Nick Rearden observed:

Peace and love from Bath in the UK. Isn't it a shame all of the rich and important people in the world cannot be happy just to fight their wars on the cricket pitch while the rest of us enjoy a nice cup of coffee :-)

Michelle Klein-Hass left this note to Coffity's owner:

Some seek fame, others have it thrust upon them. You have handled yourself with enviable grace under pressure. Hopefully one day you will be known instead as “That guy who writes awesome code and makes the best coffee drinks in the greater Islamabad area.” Cheers from an American geek.

Brian Dunmire admitted:

Suddenly Pakistan doesn't seem that far away..

Ibtassam Rasheed, a proud Pakistani, wrote:

[…] One day I'll visit your coffee shop not because you are a twitter celebrity but because you put the love for your country above all other things. Please carry on spreading the positives related to Pakistan as its much needed in today's age of constant lies and negative projections regarding our beloved beautiful nation. You've certainly made a fan out of me!

This post is part of our special coverage The Death of Osama Bin Laden.

1 comment

  • Yes, Coffity Abbottabad’s page is historic. This shows the power of Facebook and other social media. Don’t forget that its owner Sohaib Athar (correct?) was live tweeting the attack in progress. I left the second comment at CA’s thread about the helicopter, the first person to say it must have been about Osama Bin Ladin’s death and with a few personal observations. (BTW, I am “nobody” except as a top Google search for “quantum measurement paradox” and work in that area, and this is just on my own.)

    I contacted some commenters at CA’s page and received an interesting description from an eye witness to the events, from some distance but close enough to get the basic idea of what happened. He also told me about some attitudes, aftermath etc. BTW I would like to write a paid story (“sorry”, need the money) so legitimate inquiries are welcome. Moderators, if “solicitations” are not welcome could you please just delete the offending part? Thanks.

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