Friday, March 2, 2007

Sheesha Etiquette's

The etiquette of hookah smoking is very important in some cultures and often times it is regarded as disrespectful to break away from these traditions. Etiquette also helps to keep all hookah smokers happy.

► Smoking a hookah pipe is about patience and tolerance, so relax and enjoy it.

► There is no urgency or competitiveness when smoking a narghile, unlike the smoking sessions using other glass pipes or water pipes. So smoke until you are pleased and then pass it on to the next person.

► As a courtesy, turn the hose connection of the metal stem toward the next person as you are handing them the hose.

► Never light cigarettes using the lit charcoal on top of the hose.

► Never light a self-lighting charcoal on top of the hookah- the extra smoke will overwhelm the tobacco flavors.

► Do not blow smoke in the face of another person.

► With a multi-hose hookah, do not blow into the hookah hose to clear the smoke while another person is smoking.

► Never share your plastic mouthpiece with another person, as it does not promote good hygiene.

► When you are finished smoking hookah, wrap the hookah hose around the metal stem.

"Smoking a narghile is nothing like smoking a cigarette," a 71-year-old pensioner named Ismet Ertep said as he looked up from his pipe. "Cigarettes are for nervous people, competitive people, people on the run," he said. "When you smoke a nargile, you have time to think. It teaches you patience and tolerance, and gives you an appreciation of good company. Nargile smokers have a much more balanced approach to life than cigarette smokers."

From "The Turkish Narghile - Inhale the Pleasure of an Unhurried Ottoman Past"; Stephen Kinzer, the New York Times, June 10, 1997


History of Sheesha Part II

One of the oldest traditions of the Middle East is the art of hookah smoking. The hookah, also referred to as a narghile or narghila, shisha or sheesha, water-pipe, and hubbly-bubbly, has long inspired great discussions of politics, religion, and the daily happenings. In social gatherings, the passing of the hose is remarkable- a narghile is placed in the center of a group and smokers pass the hose to the next in the circle, all the while exchanging words and sharing ideas in a playful mode.

The popularity of the hookah has sky-rocketed in recent years, mainly due to the social nature of hookah smoking. In the United States, where everything has become so fast paced that people rarely have time to socialize with family or friends, it certainly contributes to the smoker's integration in his or her social environment in a brotherly peaceful act of solidarity.

Clusters of hookah smokers can now be seen at sidewalk cafes in Westwood, California, in nightclubs in Chicago and Miami's South Beach, and at a new restaurant at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas - which features a hookah smoking lounge for weary gamblers. Many people prefer hookah smoke to cigarettes or hand and glass pipes because of the cool, smooth flavorful taste of the smoke.

The shisha, also called tombac, gouza, moassel, shisha or sheesha, is a special blend of fresh, dark leaves, fruit pulp, honey or molasses, and glycerine. The shisha is available in a wide variety of flavors including double apple, strawberry, melon, pineapple, vanilla, pistachio, and rose. This blend contains only 0.5% nicotine and no tar.

With a vast collection of flavors to choose from and many other variables to manipulate, hookah smoking is truly an art. Many seasoned smokers enjoy adding ice, fruit juice, milk or wine to water in the glass vase to change the taste, texture, or effect of the smoke.

The original design for the hookah came from India or Persia, but it was rather primitively made from a coconut shell. Its popularity spread to Iran and then the rest of the Arab world. But it was in Turkey that the water pipe completed its revolution and has hardly changed its style for the last few hundred years.

These days in the cafés of Cairo, puffing on their hookah water pipes, patrons mutter about the unstoppable invasion of American fast food and trash television. Few realize that the hookah itself is stealthily spreading across the globe.



History of Sheesha

One of the oldest and deep rooted traditions in Turkey is the Nargile (Hookah), with both men and women finding great pleasure in smoking the waterpipe. The nargile started a whole new culture which endured for many, many years. Even today the nargile gives enjoyment to a special breed of smokers. The original nargile came from India, but it was rather primitive as it was made out of coconut shell. Its popularity spread to Iran and then to the rest of the Arab world.

But it was in Turkey that the nargile completed its revolution, and did not change its style for the last few hundred years. The nargile became a very important part of the coffee shop culture, finding its popularity in Turkey around the time of Murat the IV'th, 1623-40.The joy that the smokers received from this very simple yet beautiful smoking apparatus was unbelievable. Rules were created even for lighting the pipe, and if a professional smoker saw anyone lighting it the incorrect way, the culprit would be told in no uncertain term " Do yourself and the sacred nargile a favor and put out the coals by blowing into it.

"The nargile itself consists of 4 pieces which are as follows: Agizlik (mouthpiece), Lüle (the top of the nargile), Marpuç (the tube) and the Gövde (the body of the pipe which is filled with water). All pieces of the pipe were produced by special craftsmen, who were named after the pece they produced. Even today, the areas where these craftsmen used to concentrate are called by these names, such as "Marpuççular."Lüles were generally produced in Tophane by Lule makers and the govde's (bottles) were manufactured in Beykoz. These govde's were a unique exaple of Turkish handcraft and were decorated with floral motifs. Some were made out of silver or crystal. The agizlik's (mouthpieces) were generally carved out of the top of quality amber, because people in those days believed that amber was not the because people in those days believed that amber was not the carrier of germs.

Not all tobaccos qualified for usage in the nargile, and only the dark tobacco imported from Iran found favor with the nargile user. This toabcco was washed several times before use as it was extremely strong. Only oak charcoal was used to be placed on the top of the tobacco. Some professional nargile smokers used certain fruit, like sour cherries or grapes in their govde just to enjoy the motion it created in the water. Other people enjoyed adding pomegranate juice or rose oil to their water for added flavor. The nargile smoker hated anyone lighting their cigarettes on their nargile fire because they felt it disturbed the rhythm of the burning charcoal.

The nargile was so popular and fashionable with the elite ladies of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, that it became the in thing to be photographed with a nargile. If you wanted to be the hostess with the mostest the nargile was a must for popular afternoon tea and intellectual gatherings. Unfortunately like most wonderful things from the past, the nargile suffered a decline with the availability of the cigarettes. But still today, one is able to find a special type of smoker that would only find their enjoyment from smoking the nargile.


Monday, February 26, 2007

Follow Up.

Hello again, Imad here. I thought i'd drop a couple of lines regarding the development of this blog, well we're hitting speed breakers. Our university isn't helping either with the tough schedules. So please bear with us and hopefully in the next couple of days we'll have some good articles up.

Imad Sani

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Welcome to sheesha-uae. Some of you might be wondering what this place is about, let me tell you. This place is dedicated to the sheesha cafe's in the uae, we are trying to give them a place they truely deserve.
My friends and I smoke sheesha frequently and are big fans. We were driving down to Qusais, where our usual sheesha cafe is, when we saw this new place. We decided to try it out.
The place was nothing special, the usual cane furniture and outdoor seating. We have a flavor in common, ANNUB WA NA 'NNA, grapes and mint (mixed). The sheesha's arrived and we started to smoke, let me tell you it was anything but pleasant. I could taste the flavor on my tongue along with burnt coal.
We had such a bad experience we decided never to return to that place. Sitting there we started to talk about how there should be a sort of awareness system, so that people dont go through the same experience we did. So we came up with this idea, why now create a place where we would discuss the places we've experienced and give honest reviews about it so that people who want to try new places have a good experience.
So thats it, this is why were here. To empart our experience with you people.