Photographer's Note

narghile is characterised by a triple egalitarianism: social,sexual and religious.
All stratas of society are the ages of Ottoman Empire, Murâd IV who wanted to put an end to the transgression of limits between social groups used narghile for a kind of social unity.In Tunisia, upper classes seem to turn up their nose at narghile (hookah) and a same evolution is noticeable in other countries as Egypt for example. More and more, this pipe may appear as the symbol of lazy persons or "baddies".
A riddle collected in Jordan evokes the feminine narghile figure:Who is this princess standing in her palace with her hand on her hip?The pipe bowl is indeed similar to a crown;the baluster body, elegant and rounded, evokes that of a woman. As for the hose curve coiling up around the mast,it can easily be compared to the arm outline.Finally,the palace is a metaphor of the atmosphere in which a narghile session ideally takes place:pillows,tapestries,vegetation,and so on.In the past,women of the Shah' suit spent most of their time smoking narghile. Between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th,Turkish women of the upper classes were fond of being photographed near their narghile for the latter had become an essential element of any social or intellectual gathering.Today,in Iran,in the Persian-Arabian Gulf countries or in the Middle East,women remain narghile amateurs. We can see them smoking in Beirut,Damascus,Amman or Cairo. Their absence in Tripoli's (Libya) or Tunis' cafés may be explained, hypothetically, by the relative newness of narghile in these last countries whereas in the first ones, women have often been using it for several centuries.
Believers of the three monotheist religions of the region have been smoking narghile for centuries in an undifferentiated way. The route from the mosque to the coffee-house and vice versa was, for a long period, a vulgar course of daily life. In less puritanical times than today's, it was not rare to meet religious men in cafés and in particular Sufis. As for the annual festivities accompanying the ritual fast month(Holy Ramadân) widely observed by local populations, they have actually made narghile, a star of Arab-Islamic sociability.
revival in the East and growing popularity in the West. today, narghile (hookah, waterpipe or shisha) smoking is flourishing in societies of the Arab-Islamic world as well as in continents other than Asia. In Europe and America, new coffee-houses, that is termed "neo-Orientalist cafés", are opening out.
I’ve chosen the title from a so-called web address and mainly got the information from there about the narghile.I couldn’t remember the name of the cafe where I took this shot but it might be El-Fishâwy since I took it in Cairo.

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Additional Photos by nejat yilmaz (ballyna) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 548 W: 46 N: 288] (1689)
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