Do You Hookah? One of the oldest traditions of the Middle East is the art of hookah smoking. The hookah, also referred to as a narghile or arghile, shisha or sheesha, water-pipe, and hubbly-bubbly, has long inspired great discussions of politics, religion, and the daily happenings. A narghile is placed in the center of a group and smokers pass the hose to the next in the circle after smoking to their content, all the while exchanging words and sharing ideas in a pleasant manner.
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, and rose. This blend contains only 0.5% nicotine and no tar when smoked correctly.
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, 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.
The spellings and names used to identify hookahs are as various as the pipes themselves. Hookahs are also known around the globe as hookah pipe, hooka, huka, shisha, shisha pipe, hooka pipe, sheesha, sheesha pipe, narghile, nargila, narguile, and hubbly bubbly.