Meeting the Last Tobacco Hookah Smokers of Nasiriyah

By Haider al-Yaqoubi, in Nasiriyah

As a pastime, the tobacco hookah is almost extinct. A hard corps of pensioners in Nasiriyah are keeping their habit alive.

Nasiriyah local Haj Abdul Khader al-Sharifi has been coming to the same cafe in his city, every day since 1971. He comes because it is just about the only place where he can smoke a tobacco hookah pipe. Most hookah pipes use a flavoured smoke but the tobacco hookah is different. It is also almost extinct.

Al-Sharifi stopped smoking cigarettes when he was 18 and started to smoke the tobacco hookah after that. He’s addicted and he knows it. “I cannot travel for more than a day because of my smoking habit,” he confesses. “But because of my old age, I only smoke twice a day now.”

In fact, he insists that the tobacco hookah is healthier than smoking cigarettes. The process of preparing the tobacco means that the dried leaves are washed and al-Sharifi says this means the nicotine is washed out. He believes that it even cures conditions like irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion.

Using other water pipes is worse for you, al-Sharifi insists, “because of the addition of flavours, chemicals and sugars. Tobacco is more natural,” he argues.

To smoke the tobacco hookah, al-Sharifi must go to the Haj Allawi Cafe in the middle of a central city market. Many of the other patrons seated on the traditional wooden benches are also elderly locals, many of whom also seem to be addicted to the tobacco hookah.

Smoking a complete tobacco hookah takes about 45 minutes and actually produces very little smoke compared to the more common water pipes.

A friend of al-Sharifi’s, Jamil al-Khuzai, arrives. He’s a retired policeman and he says he comes here every day because the tobacco hookah is good for him. “After every meal, I smoke a hookah because it makes me feel physically and emotionally comfortable,” he explains. “It helps with the feelings of anger and tension I have, ever since I stopped drinking alcohol 30 years ago.”

Al-Khuzai says he first smoked a tobacco hookah when he was 19 and did not enjoy it. “It almost made me faint,” he recounts. But he took it up again after he stopped drinking and he now smokes about three a day. However the 70-year-old insists he’s not addicted and that he could stop at any time.

“I can travel and when I do, I’m not worried about the hookah, even though I miss it,” he explains.

The cafe owner, Jawad Abdul-Khadhim, brings al-Khuzai the tobacco hookah he just ordered. He’s been preparing these pipes for 29 years and says that this cafe used to a cultural hotspot, but that a lot of the customers have died or left the city.

The tobacco is bought from a region in Karbala, where there are tobacco plantations. It is mixed with molasses and salt by the farmers before being sun dried. “We buy it ready like this and we only have to cut it and wash it with water several times before preparing it,” Abdul-Khadim explains. A tobacco hookah normally costs about IQD 1,250, or around US$1, he adds. “And I have seen him here,” he motions to al-Sharifi and laughs, “since I was a young man.”

Al-Sharifi is settling in to enjoy his addiction. He gathers up the smoking pipe on his legs, puts on his headphones and begins to browse YouTube on his phone. Finally he finds a song he likes: “It seems I’m getting old,” by Hussein Neama.

Related Articles

115 Comments

  1. I all the time used to study post in news papers but now as I am a user of web therefore from now I am using net for posts, thanks to web.

  2. Have you ever thought about including a little bit more
    than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and everything.
    But think of if you added some great graphics or videos to give your posts more, “pop”!

    Your content is excellent but with pics and video clips, this site could certainly be one of the very best in its field.
    Very good blog!

  3. Hey there! I understand this is somewhat off-topic but I needed to ask.
    Does building a well-established blog like
    yours take a massive amount work? I am completely new to
    running a blog but I do write in my diary everyday.
    I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my experience and feelings online.
    Please let me know if you have any kind of recommendations or
    tips for new aspiring blog owners. Thankyou!

  4. Hola! I’ve been reading your blog for a long time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout
    out from Kingwood Texas! Just wanted to tell you keep up the fantastic work!

  5. Hi, Neat post. There is a problem with your website in web explorer, might check this?

    IE nonetheless is the marketplace leader and a good portion of other folks will
    leave out your great writing because of this problem.

  6. Terrific article! This is the kind of information that are meant to
    be shared across the internet. Shame on the search engines for now not positioning this put up upper!

    Come on over and seek advice from my web site .
    Thank you =)

  7. You ought to be a part of a contest for one of the highest quality blogs online.
    I’m going to recommend this web site!

  8. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your site.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me
    to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to
    create your theme? Superb work!

  9. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what all is required to get set up?
    I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very internet savvy so I’m not 100% certain. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers

  10. Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the images on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end
    or if it’s the blog. Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

  11. Hello! I simply wish to give you a big thumbs up for the excellent information you have got
    right here on this post. I’ll be coming back to your blog for more soon.

  12. Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?

    you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is excellent, let
    alone the content!

  13. Howdy, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if
    you get a lot of spam remarks? If so how do
    you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can suggest?

    I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any support is very much appreciated.

  14. Unquestionably consider that that you said. Your favorite
    reason seemed to be at the web the simplest factor to take note of.
    I say to you, I definitely get annoyed even as other people consider concerns that
    they plainly do not understand about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top
    as well as defined out the entire thing with no need
    side effect , other folks could take a signal. Will probably be again to get more.

    Thank you

  15. Wow, this piece of writing is nice, my sister is analyzing
    these things, thus I am going to inform her.

  16. What’s up it’s me, I am also visiting this web site regularly, this
    web page is truly fastidious and the viewers are actually sharing nice thoughts.

  17. Right now it appears like BlogEngine is the best blogging platform available right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your
    blog?

  18. Good day! I simply want to offer you a big thumbs up for your great information you have
    got right here on this post. I am coming back to
    your site for more soon.

  19. I’m not sure where you’re getting your info, but great topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more.
    Thanks for wonderful information I was looking for this information for my
    mission.

  20. I was suggested this website by way of my cousin. I am now
    not positive whether or not this put up is
    written via him as nobody else understand such particular
    about my difficulty. You are amazing! Thanks!

  21. Today, I went to the Ƅeachfront with my kids.
    I fоund a sea shell and gave it to my 4 ʏear old daughter and saiԁ
    “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed thhe shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a heгmit crab insiⅾe and іt pinched her eɑr.

    Sһe never wants to go back! LoL I knoow tyiѕ is completely off
    topic but I hɑd to telll someone!

  22. Hi there this is kind of of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if
    you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding
    expertise so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  23. Piece of writing writing is also a excitement,
    if you be acquainted with after that you can write or else it is difficult to write.

  24. I’ve been surfing on-line greater than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It’s beautiful value sufficient for me. Personally, if all website owners and
    bloggers made excellent content as you probably did, the
    web will probably be much more useful than ever before.

  25. Thanks in favor of sharing such a fastidious opinion, paragraph is pleasant, thats why i
    have read it entirely

  26. Thanks for the good writeup. It actually
    was a enjoyment account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you!
    By the way, how could we keep up a correspondence?

  27. What’s up, this weekend is good in support of me, because this point in time i
    am reading this impressive informative piece of writing here at my residence.

  28. We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your web site offered us with helpful information to work on. You’ve done a formidable
    process and our whole neighborhood will be thankful to you.

  29. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I don’t know who you are but definitely you’re
    going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  30. Hello, this weekend is fastidious in favor of me, for the reason that this occasion i am reading this fantastic
    informative piece of writing here at my residence.

  31. Good response in return of this query with genuine
    arguments and explaining the whole thing regarding that.

  32. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say
    that I have truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you
    write again soon!

  33. Howdy, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and
    i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam responses?

    If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can advise?

    I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any assistance is very much appreciated.

  34. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but
    after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr…

    well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say great blog!

  35. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting
    my own weblog and was wondering what all is needed to get set up?
    I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very web savvy so I’m not 100% certain. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers

  36. I must thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this blog.

    I am hoping to see the same high-grade content by you in the future as well.

    In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own blog now 😉

  37. Hey there I am so thrilled I found your site,
    I really found you by error, while I was browsing on Aol for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say kudos for a marvelous post and a all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the minute
    but I have book-marked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the excellent
    work.

  38. magnificent publish, very informative. I wonder why the
    other experts of this sector don’t realize this.
    You must continue your writing. I am sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  39. Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles?

    I mean, what you say is important and all. However imagine if you added some great visuals or videos to give your posts more, “pop”!
    Your content is excellent but with images and videos, this blog could definitely be one of the
    most beneficial in its niche. Fantastic blog!

  40. You can certainly see your expertise within the article you write.
    The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe.

    Always go after your heart.

  41. Hey there excellent website! Does running a blog similar to this require a large amount of work?
    I have absolutely no understanding of programming but I had been hoping to start
    my own blog soon. Anyway, if you have any suggestions or techniques for new blog
    owners please share. I understand this is off subject however I simply needed to ask.
    Many thanks!

  42. I’m amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both
    equally educative and amusing, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head.

    The issue is an issue that not enough folks are speaking intelligently about.
    I’m very happy that I came across this during my hunt for something regarding this.

  43. Howdy fantastic blog! Does running a blog like this take a great
    deal of work? I have very little expertise in programming however I
    was hoping to start my own blog in the near future.
    Anyways, if you have any suggestions or techniques for new blog owners please share.
    I understand this is off topic however I just had to ask.
    Appreciate it!

  44. Link exchange is nothing else however it is just placing the
    other person’s website link on your page at proper place and other
    person will also do same for you.

  45. I think the admin of this website is genuinely working hard in favor of his web
    page, for the reason that here every material is quality based stuff.

  46. Hey there I am so excited I found your weblog, I really found you by accident, while I
    was browsing on Google for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to
    say many thanks for a fantastic post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time
    to read it all at the moment but I have bookmarked it and
    also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the great work.

  47. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is
    an extremely well written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info.
    Thanks for the post. I will certainly comeback.

  48. Howdy, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam responses?
    If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can recommend?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me insane
    so any help is very much appreciated.

  49. Hey! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d ask.

    Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest
    authoring a blog article or vice-versa? My blog addresses a lot
    of the same subjects as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you’re interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you!
    Great blog by the way!

  50. Wow, this article is nice, my younger sister is analyzing these things, so I am going to
    let know her.

  51. I think this is one of the so much vital information for me.
    And i am satisfied studying your article. However want to
    observation on few basic issues, The web site style is wonderful, the articles is truly great :
    D. Good task, cheers

  52. Good way of explaining, and good piece of writing to take information on the topic of my presentation subject matter, which
    i am going to present in institution of higher education.

  53. I think what you said made a bunch of sense. However,
    think about this, what if you wrote a catchier post title?
    I mean, I don’t want to tell you how to run your blog, but suppose you added something to possibly
    grab folk’s attention? I mean Meeting the Last Tobacco Hookah Smokers of Nasiriyah – Al Menasa
    is a little boring. You should peek at Yahoo’s front page
    and note how they create article titles to get viewers to click.
    You might add a related video or a picture or two to grab readers interested
    about everything’ve written. In my opinion, it could make your posts a little bit more interesting.

  54. If some one wants expert view about blogging and site-building afterward i recommend him/her to visit this blog, Keep
    up the pleasant work.

  55. I am not sure where you are getting your info, but great topic.

    I needs to spend some time learning much more or
    understanding more. Thanks for fantastic info I was looking for this info for my mission.

  56. It’s hard to come by knowledgeable people in this particular topic, however,
    you seem like you know what you’re talking about!
    Thanks

  57. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much
    more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer
    to create your theme? Fantastic work!

  58. I like the valuable info you supply to your articles. I will bookmark your blog and take a
    look at again here frequently. I’m fairly certain I
    will be told many new stuff right right here! Good luck for the next!

  59. Hello there, I found your web site by the use of Google at the same
    time as looking for a similar subject, your website got here up, it appears to be like great.
    I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
    Hello there, just changed into alert to your weblog through Google, and found that
    it is truly informative. I’m gonna watch out for brussels.
    I will be grateful in case you continue this in future.
    Many people can be benefited out of your writing.

    Cheers!

  60. It’s going to be end of mine day, however before end I am reading this
    enormous piece of writing to increase my knowledge.

  61. Its such as you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, such as you wrote the e-book
    in it or something. I believe that you simply can do with some percent to drive the message house a little bit, however instead of that,
    that is magnificent blog. A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be
    back.

  62. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get got an impatience over that you wish be delivering
    the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again since exactly the same
    nearly very often inside case you shield this hike.

  63. It’s an amazing piece of writing in support of all the
    internet people; they will obtain benefit from
    it I am sure.

  64. I was curious if you ever thought of changing the layout of your blog?

    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two pictures.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

  65. obviously like your web site but you need to
    test the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it very bothersome to
    inform the reality nevertheless I will definitely come back again.

  66. you’re in point of fact a excellent webmaster.
    The site loading pace is incredible. It kind of feels that you are doing any unique trick.
    Moreover, The contents are masterwork. you have done a magnificent process in this subject!

  67. Just wish to say your article is as astonishing.
    The clarity in your publish is just excellent and that i can suppose you are knowledgeable
    on this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to snatch your RSS feed to stay up
    to date with approaching post. Thank you one
    million and please continue the rewarding work. quest bars http://bitly.com/3C2tkMR quest bars

  68. Hey there are using WordPress for your blog platform?

    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do you require any coding
    knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be really appreciated!
    cheap flights http://1704milesapart.tumblr.com/ cheap flights

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button