The hookah, or a shisha in Egypt, is something you see all over Western Africa and the Middle East. They can be intimidating with the hoses and pipes, but it's actually quite harmless. If you try one at a hookah bar or buy one to take home to your basement, try mint or apple flavored tobacco.
Shishas can be quite beautiful and works of art made from glass, wood, copper, plastic, you name it. You just have to pick the one that speaks to you.