Monday, August 24, 2009

Up In Smoke


Ramadan has begun; we are on our second day now. Many people are fasting, refraining from food, water, and cigarettes during the daylight hours and then breaking their fast with tea and a cigarette to battle those headaches that are the result of the sudden withdrawal. After the breaking of the fast, many people go out to spend the evening in the Ramadan tents where they have soft drinks, tea, coffee...and shisha. A shisha is a water pipe, sometimes called a hubblebubble, that supposedly "filters" the smoke through water. An article today in the BBC goes into some detail on why smoking shisha is really not a great idea.

Years ago I spent a semester teaching health (aka: Sex, drugs, and alcohol) to some middle schoolers who were astonished to see the crud that was washed out of a shisha pipe hose after use...and this was what accumulated AFTER the "filtering"! The smell of the flavoured shisha tobacco is actually quite nice and I like to run across it on an evening breeze. Maybe the fact that I've never been a smoker keeps me from understanding the attraction of shisha, but the health hazards are serious.

So have a cup of mint tea instead. Ramadan Mubarak.

copyright 2009 Maryanne Stroud Gabbani

6 comments:

Akinoluna - a female Marine said...

It does smell good but I tried it once and nearly fell over coughing.

Merri said...

well THAT was a depressing article by the BBC! As you know I've never been able to smoke anything... except that one time in Turkey from the shisha pipe with apple tobacco!!! oh man that was so good, so I guess I'm glad I didn't bring a pipe home from turkey. I'd now be able to pave and tar our 5 miles of dirt road from the crap in my lungs.

Karim said...

Asslamo alikom
I hope your arm is now all right?? I missed your post:)
Ramadan Mubarak from UK :)

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

I remember trying shisha and not liking it at all, which is a good thing now that I've read that article!

gwendolen said...

ramadan kareem!
My husband is egyptian too so i´ve lived there too. Now in sweden but in the future back to luxor or hurghada again. Where did u live?

This blog is a keeper :)

Lisa said...

Well, as an ex-smoker (years ago) I can understand the attraction too. But all these flavored tabaccos just have to be more unhealthy than the non-flavored kinds (if that is possible). It reminds me of the menthol cigarettes of yester-year (gag). But getting a good wiff of that water must cure you of smoking anything at anytime for any reason.