Friday, 01 July 2016 18:44

Wafts of berries, melons and mangoes - Shisha pleasures - Photo gallery

I love the smell of the Shisha (Narghile, Hookah, waterpipe), especially when wafts of it come your way on a warm, humid summer night.

I love sitting in a shisha cafe, enjoying the subtle smell of berries, melon, mango in the air... even though I personally don’t smoke.

I obviously had plenty of chances to wrap myself into those soothing, fragrant clouds in Cairo. I even came across a gentleman who was putting the actual metal bases of the pipes together. So here a shisha album - for details please see the captions.

Its history

Many of the various names of the hookah are of Indian, Turkish, Uzbek, Persian or Arab origin. "Narghile" is from the Persian word nārgil, or "coconut", and in Sanksrit nārikera, since the original nargile came from India and was made out of coconut shells.

"Shisha" is from the Persian word shishe, or "glass". "Hashishe" is also an Arabic word for grass, which may have been another way of saying tobacco. Hookah 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 Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Greece and Israel, though the initial "n" is often dropped in Arabic. "Shisha" is more commonly seen in Egypt. In Iran it is called ghalyoun or ghalyan and in Pakistan it is referred to as huqqa.

The origins of the hookah pipe are argued over by many. The main countries claiming to be the father of the hookah are India, Iran, Turkey, Egypt and Syria. The likelihood is the pipe in its many forms probably made an appearance in more than one country independently and through ancient trade routes started to take shape into what we now consider a standard form. Most of the world’s pipes today are manufactured in Syria, Egypt and Turkey. (source:

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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