It was very liberal back in ‘92 when I was there as well..Fond memories of Bahrain.
I've been there several times in the last 10-years. I liked it too. It the entire Middle East was like Bahrain, the world would be in a much better place.
They have slowly embraced democratic reforms over the last decade or longer, which has allowed them to more carefully manage the process. Minority voices are given actual voice in their parliamentary system, which really helps to reduce the "heat" of their political climate.
In many ways, they're a great model for others in the region to follow.
I was there many times during my five years in the Kingdom. Good place to unwind.