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