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Egyptian hookah

A Hukah (or Hookah, Hindi: हुक्का, Urdu: حقہ hukka or shisha, Arabic: شيشة, Hebrew: נרגילה, Nargilah, Turkish: nargile) is a certain kind of water pipe. It is often made of glass. Originally, it came from India.[1][2] but it is also popular in other countries, especially in the Arab World.[3][4] It had gained popularity under the reign of the Ottoman Dynasty. A hookah operates by water filtration and indirect heat. It can be used for smoking herbal fruits.

There are many other names (often of Arab, Indian, Turkish, Uzbek, or Persian origin) for a hookah. Arghile or Nargila is the name most commonly used in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Armenia, Albania, Kosovo, Greece, Turkey, Palestine, Israel, Bulgaria and Romania. The first "n" is often dropped in Arabic. "Narghile" is from the Persian word "nārgil" or "coconut", from Sanskrit nārikela (नारिकेल)--as the original hookahs were made out of coconut shells.[5] Shisha (شيشة) is from the Persian word shishe (شیشه, literally translated as glass and not bottle). The word is primarily used for water pipes in Egypt and the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf (such as Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, and Saudi Arabia) as well as Morocco, Tunisia, Somalia and Yemen. In Iran it is called ghalyun (غلیون), ghālyun (قالیون), or ghalyān (قلیان) and in India and Pakistan it is referred to as huqqa (हुक्का /حقہ). The more colloquial terms "hubble-bubble" and "hubbly-bubbly" may be used in the region surrounding the red sea.

The archaic form of this latter Indian name hookah is most commonly used in English for historical reasons. It was in India that many English-speakers first sampled the effects of the water pipe. William Hickey wrote in his Memoirs that shortly after his arrival in Kolkata, India in 1775:

The most highly-dressed and splendid hookah was prepared for me. I tried it, but did not like it. As after several trials I still found it disagreeable, I with much gravity requested to know whether it was indispensably necessary that I should become a smoker, which was answered with equal gravity, 'Undoubtedly it is, for you might as well be out of the world as out of the fashion. Here everybody uses a hookah, and it is impossible to get on without'.....[I] have frequently heard men declare they would much rather be deprived of their dinner than their hookah.[6]

Health Effects[change | change source]

A 2005 WHO report states that smoking using a waterpipe poses a serious potential health hazard and is not a safe alternative to cigarette smoking. The average hookah session typically lasts more than 40 minutes, and consists of 50 to 200 inhalations that each range from 0.15 to 0.50 liters of smoke. In an hour-long smoking session of hookah, users consume about 100 to 200 times the volume of smoke of a cigarette.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Hookah History". Fumari. Retrieved 2008-04-08.,
  2. "Why not learn about the origin of Hookah?". India Heritage. Retrieved 2008-04-08.
  3. "Hookah". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2008-04-08.
  4. "Hookah History". Hookah Company. Retrieved 2008-04-08.
  5. "Nargile". mymerhaba.
  6. Memoirs of William Hickey (Vol. II ed.). London: Hurst & Blackett. 1918. pp. p. 136.