A call to action
Recently I have been thinking about the way the public at large sees our favorite pass time and my reflections have not been happy ones. A few months back I had a new patio cover installed in and the workmen saw my Egyptian rig and concluded that it was for less then legal and while they saw that as a good thing it just re-confirmed to me that the general population doesn’t exactly look upon our thing with favour.
I could recall numerous instances in which having a narghile has caused myself and other legal hassles and countless experiences of the general population having a totally wrong perspective about what we do with our rigs.
Yet the legal issues are not the extent of the problems we face and we need to know that. I assume that many of us are aware that it has been perfectly acceptable to be horribly bigoted towards Arabs for several years now. One consequence of such attitudes being prevalent is that to a great many Americans our hobby is reviled for no other reason then it is viewed as Arabic in origin.
Lastly, we need to get serious about confronting the very popular desire to suppress all forms of tobacco consumption. I am sure we all have noted the incessant anti-tobacco adds and indoctrination sessions and ever more draconian public bans yet this just the tip of the ice burg so to speak. The taxes paid on shisha (or any tobacco product for that matter) are outrageous and getting worse every year. In case some of you haven’t been paying attention people are being denied health coverage, losing apartments, the freedom to smoke in your own house and even custody of children all as a result of the supposed danger of second hand smoke.
I raise all this stuff because it is vital that do something to counteract and reverse public perception about what our hobby is and why we do it. Changing how people view us is the first step towards re-gaining our freedoms and the only means to prevent the neo-Bolshevik desire to regulate and control our lives from advancing into other aspects of our lives any more then it already has.
What is needed is practical ideas about how to address how we’re perceived and then act upon them.
Any and all input is welcome.