A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, January 11, 2010

Abu Dhabi: Closing Shisha Cafes?

From Abu Dhabi's The National: a new tobacco law affecting restaurants may force shisha (water pipe) cafes in many neighborhoods to close.

While banning tobacco in restaurants is doubtless a good idea, the shisha cafe is such a social center — particularly for Abu Dhabi's large expatriate Egyptian, Palestinian, Lebanese etc. workers — that this seems rather draconian. Even in the US, restaurant smoking bans seem to exempt the little Shisha places patronized by young Arabs (though perhaps they just don't enforce the law here, I'm not honestly sure).

(Even here in Northern Virginia, there are a number of them. One strip mall I know of has one that's clearly patronized by Egyptians, another by Maghrebis.)

1 comment:

shisha said...

Shisha cafe's are closing down everywhere you look! Also in Egypt where I am from we are seeing meny shisha bars and cafe close.

Its such a shame as shisha is such a great social experience and from what I see no really bad or addictive aspects if smoked on the odd occassion just for fun!

I read once before that there is also herbal shisha available, which has absolutly no tobacco. Can the herbal shisha still be smoked in cafes? I wonder!