Christina/ August 2, 2009/ Culture

There is always a “for the first time” in life, also for smoking a water pipe, nargile (Arabic), a hubbly bubbly (English) or a Shisha (Arabic).

I think I had my fist Shisha during my 10-month stay in Jordan. Meanwhile I own one for myself from Kuwait. I bought my first one in 2001 in Tunisia – unfortunately it did not work well. Now my pride and joy from Kuwait is finally here, including charcoal, pincers, tabacco and aluminium-foil to put the real charcoal on it.

Since 2004 water pipe is also in fashion in Germany, from the Orient-Lounge to the Hubbly-Bubbly-Shop on the internet. A great opportunity to my mind to rethink stereotypes of Arabs. When I prepared myself for a “Gulf-Tour” recently I came across this text for reflection (an extract from “Dumont: Besser reisen: Arabisch Halbinsel”): In many Western heads there is this image of the word Arabic which still generates picturees of fat, rich sheikhs, of polygamous aging rakes, of camel driver in the desert, of coffee-drinking dawdlers, of bloodthirsty religious warriors…”

My advice: Just open up your eyes and your ears, go there and take potluck.

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