There is not a gathering that goes by without the presence of shisha taking over the room with vapor, charcoal and the smells of mu'assel.
But, how much do you actually know about the water pipe? Here are 11 facts that you should know before inhaling that shisha:
1. Most people believe the water pipe originated in the Northwest provinces of India, Rajasthan and Gujarat
However, a minority group believes that it originated from the Safavid Dynasty of Persia, ultimately spreading to East India and then to the world.
2. There is no evidence of the existence of the water pipe until the 1560s
3. A British physician in Iran claims that Indian physician Irfan Shaikh invented it
4. The first literary mention of the hookah is in a poem by Ahil Sharazi, who mentions the use of the ḡalyān (hookah) in Safavid Iran during the reign of Shah Tahmasp
5. From India, it is believed the hookah migrated to the Levant, Turkey, Greece... and eventually the world
6. It became widespread in Egypt and the Levant during Ottoman rule
7. In some countries, it goes by the name "argileh" which is derived from the Persian word "nārghile," meaning coconut
This suggests that early argilehs were hewn from coconut shells. Countries that refer to it as argileh include Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Azerbijan, Uzebikstan and Iraq.
8. In other countries, it goes by the name "shisha" coming from the Persian word "shīshe," meaning glass
This name is common in Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Morocco, Tunisia, Somalia and the GCC.