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Trip to the middle east!

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  #1  
Old February 19th, 2009, 11:56 PM
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Default Trip to the middle east!

My Grandpa who lives in Saudi Arabia is getting sick and told my dad he really wanted to see his grandchildren. I'm really close to him, and i'll be spending allot of time with him and relatives who the know area well. Seeing as it's a good twenty hour trip, my only next open slot for travel is Spring Break, and thats a good amount of time to gather up some money and knowledge.

The reason i bring this up is because i'll probably experience the biggest variety in shisha and hookahs i'll see in a good while. Any advice of what i should look out for? Not really planning on bringing back a fucking Harem hookah back with me (maybe an actual harem ) but i'll be bringing back at least 4-5 pounds of shisha. I'll be taking TONS of pics of stores and hookah bars so i can somewhat share the experience!

Oh yeah.. Probably gonna buy a sword as well. I don't larp or anything but swords are fucking awesome.
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  #2  
Old February 20th, 2009, 12:05 AM
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Default Re: Trip to the middle east!

Gah....i cant remember, but that Hajo guy on here got some of this stuff that is supposed to be amazing, only a few people tried it, not sure if its available in that country or not though.
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  #3  
Old February 20th, 2009, 12:41 AM
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Default Re: Trip to the middle east!

Shooting Star was it..
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  #4  
Old February 20th, 2009, 01:03 AM
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Default Re: Trip to the middle east!

You'll have a few relatives there that will know what you should try and buy. Take advantage of that. Hope your grandfather gets well. Report back
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  #5  
Old February 20th, 2009, 01:16 AM
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Default Re: Trip to the middle east!

First of all, I hope your grandfather gets better.

I can provide you with whatever information u need about hookah in Saudi Arabia. I spent many years overthere. Just tell me in which city are u gonna stay.
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  #6  
Old February 20th, 2009, 01:36 AM
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Default Re: Trip to the middle east!

Well Riyadh for sure, i might be going to Madinah for a day or two. I know Riyadh will have the more flavorful private stores, but I've been to a couple of Madinah lounges were i know they still use tombac in MASSIVE hookahs. As someone who is still relatively new to robust flavors, i'll be spending allot of time sampling, but any suggestions would rock.

You're probably right John, i shouldn't underestimate the local favorites.

Thanks for the concern guys, my grandpa's a tough old Palestinian i'm sure he'll get through it.
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  #7  
Old February 20th, 2009, 01:43 AM
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Default Re: Trip to the middle east!

OK .. there are many hookah lounges close to King Fahd Stadium (on Dammam highway) and in (Qassim highway) .. I recommend "Al-Shallal" lounge. It is huge and I think it can accomodate more than 500 people at the same time. I am sure you can buy hookah tobacco that is manufactured by this lounge.

The best flavors IMO are DA and Al-shallal .. also, you can try other flavors.

Also, there are many local shops that sell tobacco and I think most of them are located in Olaya area which is close to Mamlakah tower.

If u can go to Eastern Province (Khobar city), u can find the best DA ... it is in a lounge called "Fawwaziah" ... it is really good, I highly recommend it

u can pm me anytime if u have more questions.

I wish u a safe and enjoyable trip.

Last edited by Thunder; February 20th, 2009 at 01:45 AM.
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  #8  
Old February 20th, 2009, 03:51 AM
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Default Re: Trip to the middle east!

I've only been to the KSA a few times and it's been awhile but I can make a couple of suggestions. What you really want is to buy locally made jurak paste which is still pretty popular there. I can't recall the name brands as it's been awhile but you should have no trouble finding a bunch as it's what the country is famous for. I also would recommend buying as much tombac as possible but make sure it's locally made rather then the Jordanian stuff. Thunder's suggested brands are excellent by the way.

Lastly you should keep in mind the KSA is estremely conservative even by my standards and if you smoke with older folks be sure to pay close attention to protocol and follow it exactly. Smoking in a Western fashion will make you enemies unless you smoke with youth.
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  #9  
Old February 20th, 2009, 11:43 AM
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Default Re: Trip to the middle east!

I totally agree with Hajo ... usually, older people smoke Jurak and they have some protocols and they are strict. Also, Jurak smokers hate hookah smoker, I think the smell of moassel ruin the taste of Jurak !!

Hajo, the most popular Jurak brands are "Sindy" and "Ba'eshin". and they can be found in all hookah lounges. BTW, there os another hookah lounge that have good local made DA, it is called "Al-Mosafir" and it is on (Qassim Highway).

Last edited by Thunder; February 20th, 2009 at 12:05 PM.
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  #10  
Old February 20th, 2009, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Trip to the middle east!

Ba'eshin is really good jurak if my memory is right but I know they also make a pretty typical moassel. I don't think I had Sindy. I was rummaging around through my stockpile and I found a bit of jurak called the "Pride of Nejd" which has the typical wax paper & string packing. I ask around and I was told that one should keep an eye out for "the joy of Al Jawf" jurak and a blended tombac called "the wind of Jizan". Apparently those are amazing family made products but I haven't tried them.

A lot of stuff is custom made in various cafes but apparently it's all fruit type stuff which isn't what i'd look for if I ever wind up back in the KSA.

You are right that the people that like tombac and jurak generally hate moassel and that seems to be true in India, Iran, Syria, the KSA or any place else you'd go. A lot of cafes won't you smoke moassel if they jurak or tombac.

Anyways, it's super importaint to follow local customs exactly and pay really close atention to what is happening if you want to be accepted and get the most out of the visit.
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  #11  
Old February 20th, 2009, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: Trip to the middle east!

Btw finding tobacco in Medinah is next to impossible. Riyadh is the place !
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  #12  
Old February 20th, 2009, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: Trip to the middle east!

Priceless info thank you guys! Rhe trip is 80% confirmed but if i can't make it this March one of my really close cousins is coming to Chicago from Riyadh. Either way i'll be sure to send you guys who helped me out a pm for a mini wish list of what you want from Ryiadh!
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  #13  
Old February 20th, 2009, 09:00 PM
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Default Re: Trip to the middle east!

I'd suggest you ship as much stuff back via the mail as possible since you can't take very much through customs. When I went to the KSA I recall that customs (I was still in the U.S. then) would only let me take 1lb so I mailed something like 5 kilos back. Sure I had a big customs bill (but a lot less then what I pay in excise taxes here) but in the end it was still pretty cheap.

When I buy good, locally made tobacco products overseas (not something made by a big firm) I always give the vendor a lot more then what he asks. I do that since the product is worth it and the people that make juraks or what have you deserve more then what the local market will pay them.

Anyway, I hope you have fun a remember to obey all the local laws and folkways to the greatest extent possible.
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  #14  
Old February 20th, 2009, 09:34 PM
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Default Re: Trip to the middle east!

Hey fall,

I just got a call from a friend in Saudi Arabia and he was saying that he found a really good DA in Khobar city (Eastern Province). If u r intrested, I can get the address and the name of the shop. I think the price of 1 kilo is around SR 120 which is equivalent to $ 32.

BTW, there r no taxes at all in Saudi Arabia. Here is an advice for you, when u go to a hookah lounge, give whoever serves u 4 - 6 Riyals in advance (as a tip) and u will get the best hookah and hose although I recommend using your own hose.
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  #15  
Old February 24th, 2009, 12:31 AM
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Default Re: Trip to the middle east!

dude tight bring tons of that shisha back. and i am gettting a hookah from iraq.
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  #16  
Old February 24th, 2009, 12:38 AM
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Default Re: Trip to the middle east!

Best of health to your grandfather, and I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with over there! I am considering studying in the middle east for some time, so I'd really like to know what seems good.
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