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Beirut, Lebanon

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Culture Up In Smoke Nejmeh  Lebanon

Culture Up In Smoke

“Put, Put, Puuuut, Putttttt, Puttttt, Purrrrrttttttt….”The slurping, whirring, bubble noise broke through the background lounge music startling me. Next came the sweet smell of apple wafting through the air, hanging there enveloping the entire area in a haze. This same scene went on ever night in ever corner of Lebanon. Lebanon was always smoking; smoking the big, beautiful, aromic, fashionable nargile. If you want to fit in while in Lebanon, then you must learn how to smoke the hookah pipe.

Egyptians call it Shisha, Lebanese refer to it as Nargile, in English, it is Hookah; however I prefer the name Hubbly Bubbly. But they all can agree that it’s really called a form of relaxation. The word actually comes from the Persian word for glass. This ancient glass water pipe has been used for centuries in the Middle East to smoke away the day’s stress, while relaxing with friends and family. Flavors can include apple, cinnamon, mint, cappuccino, strawberry and any other number of fruits which actually make it a pleasant experience to be around; even if you don’t smoke it!