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Smoke like an Egyptian
Wednesday, 15 August 2007 - 1:37 AM SL Time

A hookah (Hindustani: / ح ق ّ ہ huqqa) is a single or multi-stemmed, often glass-based, water pipe device for smoking originating in India, it gained fame in the Arab World when it traveled from Persia to Arabia. A hookah operates by water-filtration and indirect heat. It can be used for smoking many substances, such as herbal fruits and tobacco. Depending on locality, hookahs are known as other names, such as a shisha/sheesha, water pipe, nargeela/nargile/narghile/nargileh/narguilé, argeela/arghileh/arguilé, okka, kalyan, gewat suckre, or ghelyoon/ghalyan. Many of these names are of Arab, Indian, Turkish, Uzbek, or Persian origin. Narghile (ن ا ر گ ي ل ه ) is from the Persian word nā rgil (ن ا ر گ ی ل ) or `coconut`, and in Sanskrit nā rikela (न ा र ी क े ल ) and it was made out of coconut shells. Shisha (ش ي ش ة ) is from the Persian word shishe (ش ی ش ه , literally translated as glass and not bottle), and is primarily used for water pipes in Egypt and the Arab countries of the Gulf (such as Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, and Saudi Arabia). Hashish (ح ش ي ش ) is an Arabic word for grass, which may have been another way of saying cannabis resin. Another source states, `In early Arabic texts, the term hashish referred not only to cannabis resin but also to the dried leaves or flower heads and sweetmeats made with them`. Hookah itself may stem from Arabic uqqa, meaning small box, pot, or jar. Both names refer to the original methods of constructing the smoke/water chamber part of the hookah.
Narghile is the name most commonly used in Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Albania, Israel, Bulgaria and Romania, though the initial `n` is often dropped in Arabic. Shisha is more commonly seen in Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait Morocco, Qatar, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen. In Iran it is called ghalyoun or ghalyan (ق ل ي ا ن ) and in India and Pakistan it is referred to as huqqa. The archaic form of this latter Indian name, hookah is most commonly used in English for historical reasons, as it was in India that large numbers of English-speakers first sampled the effects of the water pipe.

Arab world
In the Arab world, social smoking is done with a single or double hose. When the smoker is finished, either the hose is placed back on the table signifying that it is free, or it is handed from one user to the next, folded back on itself so that the mouthpiece does not point at the person receiving it. Stories tell Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar thought of it as an insult but there are no official facts. Another tradition is that the receiver taps or slaps the giver on the back of the hand while taking it as a sign of respect or friendship.
However in cafés and restaurants it is rare for each smoker not to order an individual hookah (as they are very affordable in the region often ranging from $2 to $10).
Hookah cafés, normally called maqha (Arabic: م ق ه ى , `coffeeshop`), are rather widespread, and are amongst the main social gathering places in the Arab world (similar to the status pubs have in the UK).

In the Indian subcontinent the hookah is becoming better known, and cafés and restaurants that offer it as a consumable are popular. Hookahs have their origin in India.[1][2] The use of hookahs from ancient times in India was not only a custom, but a matter of prestige. Rich and landed classes would smoke hookahs. Tobacco is smoked in hookahs in many villages as per traditional customs. Smoking molasses in a hookah is now becoming popular amongst the youth in India.
India has more Hookah users than any other country in the world. It is a growing trend amongst youngsters and adolescents. There are several chain clubs, Bars and coffee shops (such as Mocha) in India offering a variety of hookah.
The new trends emerging are that of non-tobacco hookahs with herbal flavours. Several modern restaurants are famous for this.

Excluding grommets, a hookah is usually made of five components, four of which are essential for its operation

1.The bowl
Also known as the head of the hookah, the bowl is a container, usually made out of clay or marble, that holds the tobacco and coal during the smoking session.

The hose is a slender tube that allows the smoke to be drawn.

3.Body, 4.Gasket, 5.Valve
The body of the hookah is a hollow tube with a gasket at its bottom. The gasket itself has at least one more opening for the hose. The gasket seals the connection of the body of the hookah with the water jar. The gasket may have one more opening with a valve in it for clearing the smoke from the water jar not via the hose.

6.Water jar
Placed at the bottom of the hookah, the water jar is a container which the smoke from the tobacco passes through before it reaches the hose. By passing through water, the smoke gains moisture. This makes inhaling the smoke of the hookah easier than a cigarette`s. Also the water jar allegedly functions as a filter for the smoke. The level of the water has to be higher than the lowest point of the body`s tube in order for the smoke to pass through it. Liquids other than water may be added, such as a strong mixture of alcohol and/or fruit juice.

7.The plate
The plate is usually just below the bowl and is used for `dead` coals from previous smoking sessions. It is not vital for the operation of the hookah.

Grommets in a hookah are usually placed between the bowl and the body, the body`s gasket and the water jar and between the body and the hose.
The jar at the bottom of the hookah is filled with water sufficient to submerge a few centimeters of the body tube, which is sealed tightly to it. Tobacco is placed inside the bowl at the top of the hookah and a burning charcoal is placed on top of the tobacco. Some cultures cover the bowl with perforated tin foil to separate the coal and the tobacco, which minimizes inhalation of coal ash with the smoke. When one inhales via the hose, air is pulled through the coal and into the bowl. The air, hot from the charcoal, roasts, not burns, the tobacco, producing smoke. This smoke passes down through the body tube, which extends into the water in the jar. It bubbles up through the water and fills the top part of the jar, to which the hose is attached. When a smoker inhales from the hose, smoke passes into the lungs, and the change in pressure in the jar pulls more air through the charcoal, continuing the process. The hookah`s components must be sealed tightly with grommets, or air which does not flow through the coal will dilute the smoke.


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14 Aug 2007 18:48:39 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Me no need worry as i dont
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14 Aug 2007 18:52:11 GMT  Report for Abuse   

I am bloody happy that they are banning it everywhere....anybody is free to kill themselves but not others !!!!
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14 Aug 2007 18:54:46 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Sheesha muchbmore harmful than a cigarrete for health

The purpose of hookah tobacco is to produce a light-headed sensation. For that purpose, it is used recreationally and socially.

Research suggests that a session of hookah tobacco smoking (tobacco molasses) which lasts 45 minutes delivers 36 times more tar, 15 times more carbon monoxide and 70% more nicotine than a single cigarette. This study has, however, come under criticism for using unrealistically high temperatures for the tobacco (600-650 degrees C) and using arbitrary figures for tar filtration rates. This could possibly have skewed results, as the carcinogenic and toxin levels of smoke increases dramatically with temperature (Wynder 1958). Common practice is to keep temperatures to degrees which do not 'char' the hookah that is within a temperature range of 100-150 C. (Chaouachi K: Patologie associate all'uso del narghile). The effects of these lower temperatures on tar are inconclusive, though Chaouachi indicates the tar would be less harmful.

Edited By - pharoah - 14 Aug 2007 18:57:23 GMT
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14 Aug 2007 18:57:00 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Priyanthy, ML

i dont smoke regularly either, but now and then social smoker, but since ban in UK, have not smoked overall the smoking ban in pubs in UK is certainly an good thing, less passive smoking and clothes dont smell after visiting bars
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14 Aug 2007 19:32:39 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Hookahs are nice. I have one at home too. I don't use it anymore. Good for social smoking and if you have some nice flavored tobacco.
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14 Aug 2007 19:43:59 GMT  Report for Abuse   

i like strawberry and apple flavoured shisha. i want to buy one as well
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14 Aug 2007 21:36:39 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Tried Hookah at a moroccan Bistro,'s cool!
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14 Aug 2007 23:17:32 GMT  Report for Abuse   
Smokers are losers
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