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Old October 21st, 2008, 02:56 PM
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The Egyptian
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Hookah Enthusiast
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Cairo, Egypt
Posts: 1,472
Default Re: Cultural question for my Egyptian friends.

Originally Posted by Fezzik View Post
I have a question that I don't know anywhere else to ask. My neighbor is an Egyptian Christian. I don't know much about Egypt or any cultural issues there. It was pointed out to me recently by an Ethiopian friend of mine that sometimes Christians in Ethiopia abstain from Hookahs because of perceived ties to Muslim religion. Some are quite offended by it for that reason. My question is this. Will I offend my neighbor if I smoke my hookah on the porch. Obviously this is somewhat an individual issue and would be a case by case question but I am wondering if there is an overwhelming cultural thing I should be sensitive to. It wouldn't be an issue except that I have a pretty strong rule about no smoking in the house. I have tried to live by it and I have expected others to but if I need to I can make a hookah exception for the sake of Neighbor relations.

Not trying to start any kind of religious debate or anything just trying to be sensitive to the cultural and possibly specifically cultural issues at hand. Mainly I don't want to insult or offend him.
You have come to the right place.

I am an Egyptian Muslim, but let me tell u this.

In Egypt, hookah has definitely NOTHING to do with religion.

It is not tied to Muslims.

Actually Muslims who are strictly following do not smoke hookah because anything that is harmful to you or others is a sin in Islam.

Btw, my preferred vendor for tobacco and coals is christian, I knew because of the large cross he has in display in his shop. Hookah is a cultural not a religious thing, just like Falafel or any Egyptian Dish.....

Actually u might give ur neighbor nostalgia because he will feel home sickness when he sees u smoking ... Invite him to share with you if he smokes hookah (btw, Egyptians call the Hookah "shisha", here shisha means the device not the tobacco).... Ask him to smoke shisha with you and if he smokes it it will be a good ice breaker and u can build on that.

On a side note, these Ethiopeans friends of yours do not know anything about Islam or Egyptian culture. Period!
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