Also known as ‘hookah’ or ‘hubbly bubbly’, ‘shisha’ are the ornate, Arabian water pipes through which Egyptians while away the hours toking contentedly on fruit scented tobacco.
Contrary to popular belief, there is nothing illicit or untoward occurring. The tobacco is perfumed (in one of a number of flavours; apple, water melon, strawberry, orange and even coffee) and pressed into a detachable pipe top which is wrapped in foil.
Shisha is good to smoke alone, or with company and forms the basis of Egyptian social life. Shisha cafes are everywhere in Egypt and are especially prevalent where there is a view, such as along the sea front or besides the River Nile.