Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Naomi and the Nargila

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Nice daughter Naomi watching me pretend to puff on the nargila.
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For ABC Wednesday's N-Day.
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We got the family (scattered over three different continents) together for lunch at the Lebanese Restaurant in Ein Kerem village.
We sat for hours eating good food, talking and laughing, welcomed hospitably by host Issa.
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After the hookah/nargila came to the table, we continued sitting even more.
Pretty, isn't it?
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But these water bowls of 17th and 18th century nargilas are more than pretty!
Please enlarge and see the exquisite detail.
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The Museum for Islamic Art in Jerusalem describes one hubble bubble or hookah as glass with gilded decoration and another as gilded silver with enamel.
The larger hanging one has gold, enamel, and precious stones.
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The small one is a coconut with metal inlay, crafted in Persia or India in the 18th century.
Nargila derives from the Persian word nārghile, meaning coconut, suggesting that early hookahs were hewn from coconut shells.
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The tobacco smoked is referred to as shisha.
Tobacco was introduced by Portuguese traders in the late 16th century.
"And the rest is history."
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25 comments:

Nanka said...

"Smoking in injurious to health" Statutory Warning...but what the heck, I loved your post!! and the hubble-bubble hookah just as much as you liked holding it in your hand. :)

Roger Owen Green said...

I no NOTHING of the nargila. Interesting stuff. Family in 3 continents - wow!

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Leif Hagen said...

Dina - you wild woman - hookah at lunchtime! Ha!

RuneE said...

Since my consumption of tobacco is VERY small, I haven't encountered a Nargila - but It was at least a beauty by itself.

Kay said...

I just LOVED seeing the photo of you and Naomi together.

We are very much against smoking. However, when we were in Egypt, Art went ahead and tried the hookah along with some other people. I was surprised, but he does like to try things... ONCE.

Dina said...

Nanka, take a look at a similar warning here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hookah#Israel

Roger, really? Come on over; you need a tour of the Middle East.

Leif, LOL! I like the sound of that!

Rune, this was my first time to be near one and hear and see the bubbles in the water and to smell the sweat smell.

Kay, also there were M, Niva, Pazit, and Libby. The girls kept encouraging me to try it just once. But I couldn't break through the psychological barrier, even though I wanted to. I hated growing up in a smokey house and that kept me from ever voluntarily going near smoke later in life.

Wanda said...

Wow, you do have family all over... We do have a cousin in Sweden.

Dina said...

Correction: I meant sweEt smell (although it WAS very hot that day and not much of AC in the restaurant, I don't remember smelling sweat.)

Petrea said...

The best part is that you got the family together. Not so easy when you're all spread out! I love the photo of you and your daughter. Was your LA son there, too?

Reader Wil said...

Great post! I learnt again something new! I like your photos!

Hels said...

Isn't Ein Kerem gorgeous! If I lived in Jerusalem, that would definitely be the place to be.

Dina said...

Shalom Wanda. Well, Sweden is a good place to have a relative. Go and visit! ;)

Petrea, no, unfortunately.

Wil, if you come this way someday, I have to get a picture of you posing with a nargila. :)

Hels, yep, Ein Kerem is nice, just so many tourists though.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I like that first photo. You may be faking it but you look like a seasoned pro.

I has a Syrian dentist from Latakia who told me that Sulyman raided his country gathering up all the guilded glass makers for which the country was noted, stuck them on a ship that then sunk in the Mediterranean. All that glass knowledge lost. Or at least thats how I remember it.

Dina said...

PA, haha, thanks!
But what a tragic story you tell.

VP said...

I only smoke a pipe once or twice ayear, but wasn't very happy with that thing when I tried. To say it mildly you 'share' too much with your fellow smokers...

Hilda said...

With the proliferation here of all sorts of Middle Eastern cuisine, hookahs are also becoming popular. But nothing as fancy as those precious ones!

Ann said...

Didn't realise they let women smoke too.

Been studying about Naomi in my Biblestudy group.

Dina said...

VP, yeah, I imagine you're right.

Hilda, I read that also in USA it is gaining ground.
Yeah, they just don't make nargilas like they used to. :)

Ann, the Islamic Art Museum sign says "The smoking of the water pipe became widespread in the Middle East in the 17th century. . . . Smoking was a popular pastime, and in paintings mostly from Muslim India both men and women are depicted smoking the nargila."

Dina said...

Ann, but when in the Old City for Jerusalem Knights the other night, I saw many Arab men sitting together, sharing many hookahs, but no women.

Jew Wishes said...

What wonderful photos...I love the one with you and your daughter, Naomi.

Pietro said...

Never smoked the nargila (in Italian "narghilè"). I like these pictures, particularly the one of you together with your daughter Naomi.

Jilly said...

I love the photo of you with your daughter. You can feel the love between you - so good to see.

Kay said...

How fantastic that the sisters could be together. So lovely...

I know about that psychological barrier. I have it, too!

Susie of Arabia said...

What a wonderful time for your family to all be together - must have been great fun! Those bowls are amazing!

Francisca said...

The water bowls of the antique Nargilas are super exquisite! But I am more glad to have scrolled back here (after a hectic week) to see Nice daughter Naomi and you, Dina! How Neat! Great N post.