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Crystal Syrian

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  #1  
Old October 14th, 2008, 03:20 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Crystal Syrian

Hello all,

I got back home about an hour ago and I thought that some of you may want to see what a narghile looks like that is almost entirely made out of crystal.

I also have a lot of great stories from visiting the narghile capital of the world Latakia Syria and trying out a whole bunch of family owned moassel and jurak brands and I got to go to get a tour through the Shooting Star's micro-factory/muesem and sample a bunch of the flavours the make.

I want to thank the Sati Fayyad and his family for showering me with hospitality and Rashid Al Bitar for the tour, fantastic food and his son Adnan for the very cool Sundial 7".

Anyway, all that will be talked about latter.
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Crystal Syrian 1.JPG   Crystal Syrian 2.JPG   Crystal Syrian 3.JPG   Crystal Syrian 4.JPG   Crystal Syrian 5.JPG  

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  #2  
Old October 14th, 2008, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: Crystal Syrian

I've got a few messages which i'll answer shortly. Also, here is another photo. Anyway, I've never seen anything like the rig in the photos but if anyone wants any info about it just ask.
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  #3  
Old October 14th, 2008, 03:33 PM
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Default Re: Crystal Syrian

where did you get it and how much did it cost?
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  #4  
Old October 14th, 2008, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: Crystal Syrian

looks similiar to

and
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  #5  
Old October 14th, 2008, 05:07 PM
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Default Re: Crystal Syrian

How was the local moassel?
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  #6  
Old October 14th, 2008, 08:35 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Re: Crystal Syrian

The vase looks the same but the stem is totally different and it's real crystal rather then glass or plastic and the whole thing is very heavy. I got it a few days ago at a cafe in Latakia and I think it cost me about 7 Euros. I've never seen anything like it before and it can take up to 3 hoses.

As to the local moassel it's pretty amazing. I don't know how many brands are around in Syria but I tried out at least a dozen local brands I never heard of. It seems that a lot of them have names like "The Joy of ___________" or the "Pride of ____________" with blank being the name of a town/province/owner/founder or some long dead noble. The flavours are almost always entirely herbs and spices mixed with tobacco and molasses (no honey or glycerine) and are always unwashed. No fruits, drinks or candy flavours. The papcking is just wax paper tied with string and occasionally a little wooden box. Honestly, the stuff they sell locally is far better then anything I can buy else where.
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  #7  
Old October 14th, 2008, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: Crystal Syrian

Glad to hear you enjoyed your travels Hajo. I hope to hear more from you about your trip when we have the chance to chat(in chat).I believe this narghille is a Mya, btw. Unfortunately probably not a syrian.
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  #8  
Old October 14th, 2008, 09:33 PM
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Default Re: Crystal Syrian

Heya Abu. Yeah I got a bunch of stories about the trip and if my company gets the project we having been biding on I may wind up in Syria for a few months.

Anyway, the narghile I picked up has a Syrian head and a Syrian style smoke chamber so I don't think it could be a Mya.

I took a bunch of notes about the Shooting Star tour so i'll need to write something about the company history and such when I get the chance.

When are you around for chat?
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  #9  
Old October 14th, 2008, 09:42 PM
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Default Re: Crystal Syrian

Yeah, I noticed the syrian head configuration.Interesting. Everything else about the rig apears to be Mya.Multi-hose option, vase,ect.
I should be around on and off tonight and tomorrow.
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  #10  
Old October 15th, 2008, 12:30 AM
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Default Re: Crystal Syrian

Well the smoke chamber and head are definitely Syrian and the smoke chamber is machined brass so unless Mya opened up a plant in Syria i'd say it's a Syrian. I haven't had the chance to try it out but I wish you guys could see the all crystal mainstem, it really is something and it weighs a lot. I like the fact that the downstem is so long but it would be better if the downstem was all brass rather then brass platted.
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  #11  
Old October 15th, 2008, 12:43 AM
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Default Re: Crystal Syrian

That's a beautiful thing. Do you speak arabic or farsi?
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  #12  
Old October 15th, 2008, 01:21 AM
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Default Re: Crystal Syrian

is Latakia close to the iraqi border?
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  #13  
Old October 15th, 2008, 02:06 AM
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Default Re: Crystal Syrian

Unfortunately I am not to good with languages so I don't know Arabic or Farsi but I wish I did as I have a lot of friends in Syria, Iran and Iraq and it would make business a bit easier I guess.

I used to know a few African tongues but since I haven't used them in about 20 years I have basically forgotten what Sindebele, Ndebele, Shona ( specifically Chikaranga & Zezuru) I once used. I am working on getting Lithuanian up to par but it's tough at my age.

Latakia is not near the boarder. It's in the North West and it's the biggest port in Syria and right now has a booming economy thanks in part to the Russians. The other places I spent time at this time around are Tartus (the best city in the country), Jablah, Hims & Baniyas.

Latakia and Tartus are famous for the tourist stuff and history but also narghile stuff. The cafes are great with a very laid back atmosphere, great coffee and food and, of course, the best moassel and jurak on the planet (well, the Iranian stuff is as good but different) so I could easily spend months there and not get to see everything.

People are pretty amazed when they see Occidentals like me go into the local tobacco shops although it could be that my appearance is what freaks them out. Lots of the local brands are sold out of just a couple of shops and cafes as they are made by families that have a strong local following. When you get out side of the commercial/tourist parts of the cities the smokers are very old fashioned and you best obey customs if you want to be made welcome. I got yelled at for setting a rig on a table once so I have to be on my best behavior. These guys are serious about smoking and they are very much into the ritual stuff so it takes a bit of getting used to for someone like me. Still, I’ve met some awesome people at such places and had some very interesting conversations and I’ve gotten to like traditional Arabic music although I can’t say I understand it.
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  #14  
Old October 16th, 2008, 03:19 AM
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Default Re: Crystal Syrian

That sounded like an amazing all around experience, with just small nuances of customs. I desire to experience this, but sometimes I fear for my safety when travelling to less touristic places (for americans). If luck is my way I'll at least get into turkey next summer, and want to make my way down to syria or lebannon. I haven't had a negative experience travelling, but being american isn't the best first impression...
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  #15  
Old October 16th, 2008, 06:29 AM
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Default Re: Crystal Syrian

can you bring tabacco with you when coming back or is it confiscated
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  #16  
Old October 16th, 2008, 12:47 PM
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Default Re: Crystal Syrian

Highlight, don't worry about traveling to Syria, Iran or most other places for that matter as the locals are very hospitable to basically everyone. When I used to travel on an American passport I never had any trouble although from time to time i'd get ask some pretty prickly questions but I said what I think (politely of course) and and everyone was cool with it.

As an example, I used to occasionally go to Iraq on business before the Americans invaded it and no matter where I went or who I talked to (including Ba'athist party officials) everyone was polite and friendly. This was at a time when the embargo was essentially starving the country and bombing raids took place weekly so that says a lot.

Anyway, it's interesting that in the bigger cities people are less concerned with custom but a big easier going around Occidentals. In the more rural areas customs are bigger thing and everyone is a bit more standoffish at first but if you are polite and hang around a bit the hospitality shines through.

You can bring tobacco back with you but cumstoms in each country sets limits on the amount. I take it out of the packing and burry it in my clothes and if anyone asks I say it's herbs and spices. So far never had an issue but then I never bring back that much. I usually go to a post office and send some back home that way but when I do I have to pay shocking tarriffs so it's pretty expensive.

On my last travels I ran into the "moassel nazi" and that was pretty funny. You can read about him here - http://www.hookahpro.com/forum/showt...highlight=nazi

Another funny thing that happened was smoking with a bunch of Spetsnaz bad ass types but that will be another post.
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  #17  
Old March 21st, 2009, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: Crystal Syrian

Haha i wanna hear about the Spetsnaz. Great write-up looking forward to hearing more about your trip that many of us may never get to experience.
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  #18  
Old March 22nd, 2009, 01:21 PM
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Default Re: Crystal Syrian

Quote:
Originally Posted by myka View Post
Haha i wanna hear about the Spetsnaz. Great write-up looking forward to hearing more about your trip that many of us may never get to experience.
i second that!
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  #19  
Old March 22nd, 2009, 02:25 PM
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Default Re: Crystal Syrian

the stem on this is gorgeous! and im guessing the other type of bowl fitting is used over there?
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  #20  
Old March 22nd, 2009, 02:36 PM
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Default Re: Crystal Syrian

mmmmm necroposting
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  #21  
Old March 22nd, 2009, 04:48 PM
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Default Re: Crystal Syrian

Quote:
Originally Posted by gigdarling25 View Post
i second that!
The Spetsnaz story is pretty cool. During the last couple of years it’s pretty common to see Russians in the coastal portions of Syria as a result of the naval build up and the high amounts of trade between the 2 countries.

Basically, a conference I had got delayed so I went to this café near the harbor in Latakia which had a proximately displayed Dagmar style cross out front which I presume is what attached the Russians to the place.

Anyway, I was hanging out drinking coffee and eating some sweet bread (can’t recall the name) when I saw these four guys with no necks, way too much muscle and as much scar tissue as me but less flab and hair coming up to the counter. They wanted to by liquor but settled for a bunch of Al-Sharq ( locally made beer that has a sort of fruity/citrus quality to it) and a mountain sweets and coffee.

Since my table was the only one that wasn’t filled they sat down offered me a bottle of brew which I accepted but stopped from taking it when I noticed that they all had Spetsnaz tattoos. Do to my previous experiences I was definitely uncomfortable and more then a little panicked.

They looked at me, ask what was up and I said something to the effect that I don’t drink except at diner which is basically true but it was clear that I wasn’t being to honest. One of them ask me where I was from and I said Lithuania (technically true) which spurred another to comment that I sounded like a South African Englisher which sorta surprised me as I assumed that I had lost that accent some time ago. So I shifted a bit, and said “well a bit more to the North actually” . One of Russians said to his mates “he’s a Rhoadie” and another gestured towards my badly scared face and said something like “We did that?” Which prompted me to say no actually is was Mozambicans and Cubans that brought me to my current state. To which one of them shrugged and said “the face suits you better then the tie” and pushed a bottle of Al-Sharq and a plate of food towards me.

I decided I had been rude and accepted the generosity given. We ended up having a nice chat over good about “the life” and I was pleasantly surprised to find my fears unfounded and a nice meal to boot. Life is pretty quirky at times.
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  #22  
Old March 22nd, 2009, 04:52 PM
Hajo Flettner
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Default Re: Crystal Syrian

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninorey123 View Post
the stem on this is gorgeous! and im guessing the other type of bowl fitting is used over there?
Thanks man. That is a Syrian style stem which is pretty common there and in Lebanon to a lesser degree. You need to either use an adapter or a Syrian style bowl to smoke that sort of rig. In a practical sense I don't think that them head style makes an practical difference.
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  #23  
Old March 22nd, 2009, 05:15 PM
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Default Re: Crystal Syrian

Thats awesome Hajo, the Spetsnaz can be nice too!!!
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  #24  
Old March 23rd, 2009, 12:44 AM
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Default Re: Crystal Syrian

Its such a beautiful hookah, great going. I also was in Syria close to Damascus in 1973 and my brother also right outside the port of Latakia near the oil refineries, (they disapeared soon after). I'm waiting for the day when we can travel to our next door northern neighbor in peace.
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  #25  
Old March 23rd, 2009, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: Crystal Syrian

I'd like to see that happen as well but I won't be placing a wager in happening anytime soon.

Syria is a great country it's probably my favorite Arabic country to visit since it's a little more liberal then most and it's managed to actually retain an Arabic aura unlike the Gulf states which seem like Vegas without the debauchery.

Crystal is a lovely thing although mine is hard to hold when it wet which makes cleaning a hassle but, you can't have an up without a down I guess.
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