10 mai 2016

Talking to Egypt - Coffe shops in Egypt ©

 (Photo by net)

In Egypt is a coffee shop on every corner of street or on every ground floor of block. Sometimes, we could find one coffe shop next to another and nobody doesn't have any problem with that. In Egypt, even competition has a different meaning than in other countries.

Those coffe shops are all different and all similar. Them have something special not through what the coffe sellers offer but through what we found in every place there, every person by each bartender who greets us with a smile and a warm welcome.

All coffe shops in Egypt are open to the street. Some of them are very old, business from father to son, motives for pride and reminder.

There, in coffe shop, men drink tea, coffe, smoke shisha (water pipes), read the newspaper, play table game, chess, talk about their problems, about football and spend time together in a familiar and friendly way. Many people there, know each other from their childhood.

Many people when they see pictures of "shisha" ask themselves what "shisha" is ?!

I was ask myself too when I saw it for first time. I did not know what a hookah is, to my great shame. Some people smiling, find for me excuses because I do not smoke. I didn't find for me any excuses, because it is not just a tool but a tradition of smoking, a habit, even an art. For the Egyptians, to smoking shisha is an art, part of themselves.


Shisha smoking, also called narghile, water pipe, hookah or hubble bubble smoking, originates from the Middle East and certain areas of Asia, but has recently become very popular in the UK and Europe.

It is a way of smoking tobacco through a bowl with a hose or tube joined on. The tube has a mouthpiece that the smoker uses to breath in the smoke.

The Shisha idea was invented in India by the physician Irfan Shaikh of the Mughal emperor Akbar I (1542 - 1605 AD) and was constructed from a coconut shell. Anyway, following the European idea of tobacco to Persia and India, Hakim Abu’l-Fath Gilani, another physician in the Mughal court, subsequently envisaged a system which allowed smoke to be passed through water in order to be 'purified', because he was concern about people health.This new system which included a glass vase filled with water was widely accepted by most cultures in the world and became popular very fast. The aspect of the water pipe hasn’t changed too much on this 500 years.

Shisha have many names:

- Shisha, Nargeela or Argeela, in the Arabic language,

- Narghilè (but sometimes pronounced Argilah) is the name most commonly used in Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, and Syria. Narghile derives from the Persian word nārghile, meaning coconut (the first shisha made by indian physician).

- Hookah In the United States,

- In South Africa is called as a hubbly bubbly or an okka pipe

- Narghilea in Romania

The original shisha,is the Middle Eastern word for “glass”.

How Does a Shisha Work?

The shisha is setup in the configuration shown to the right. The vase is filled with water to submerge the down stem. The bowl is then covered with a perforated foil sheet or metal screen. The hot coals are placed on top of the foil sheet or metal screen, which causes the tobacco in the bowl to heat up and smoke. Sucking through the hose draws more heat on the tobacco and helps accelerate the heat transfer.

By sucking on the hose, the smoke is drawn down through the down stem and underwater. The smoke then rises up above the water in the vase and into the hose port opening. The hose port opening connects directly to the hose port and does not connect to any part of the main stem or down stem. The smoke continues its path through the hose port and hose until it reaches the smoker's mouth.

The release valve is not a necessary component for the hookah to function. However, it is useful. It is used for clearing out stagnate smoke. By blowing into the hose, smoke is pushed back into the vase and through the release valve port opening up to the release valve. The air pushing up through the release valve causes a metal ball bearing to rise up, which allows the smoke to be released. The ball bearing is in the check valve to keep the hookah air tight when smoke is being inhaled.


(My daughter, me and my husband go to Omar Coffe to look at Al Ahly Meci)

The air in those coffe shops had a particular smell. I cannot tell you what it was, but sometimes now, when I close my eyes, I will catch a whiff of it. The smell brings with it memories I thought were lost, memories of visits there in my amazing and beloved Egypt and my passing over a magical realm of true joy and happiness!

Why do smells have this power to unlock forgotten memories? I not know, but I feel like I am home when I think on Egypt.

Niciun comentariu: