Hookah Paintings from Around the World

I spend a decent amount of my time painting so I really empathize with those who have the patience necessary to make art. I know it’s really hard to believe, but there was actually a fair amount of shisha in early artworks that had nothing to do with Bob Marley. From the romantic, classical, to the baroque, hookah is present in many generations of visual arts.

The Hookah Lighter

Hookah Painting 1

Jean-Léon Gérôm’s depiction of a bathhouse illustrates the pleasures of a Bacchanalian lifestyle. The c. 1898 painting is also an illustration of the total nakedness of people in bathhouses, apparently. I mean, I guess if I really thought about it then it would have been sort of obvious. When I look at this painting it’s just like “blam” that’s a lot of naked people, but I digress.

The hookah and the carpet add a component of very tight realism to the foreground of the painting. This is in sharp contrast to the otherwise soft tones of the person most closely located in the foreground.Continue Reading

Hookah Music Videos

It’s recently come to my attention that there is a surprising lack of variety in the pop music industry when it comes to hookah-themed music or music videos featuring hookahs. After an amount of research some might mistakenly categorize as “extensive” I have analyzed the finest videos several google searches can provide.

Hookah Bar Song by Khiladi 786 Ft. Akshay Kumar & Asin

“Hookah Bar Song” (2012) is wonderfully amusing and incomprehensible to the average English speaker. This is a song that is best appreciated for its fun sounds, colorful music video, and seemingly compulsive synchronized dancing. The dance introduced by our turtleneck-clad hero, Akshay Kumar, illustrates the proper means by which to pull from an imaginary hookah hanging from the ceiling.  The video in question has a puzzling lack of hookahs for a song whose namesake is the place in which people most commonly smoke hookahs.Continue Reading

Hookah Etiquette


Welcome, class, to your first official lesson in hookah etiquette. You are welcome to find a chair, beanbag, or Central-Asian rug to sit on before we begin.

Now, unless you are in the Mediterranean or doing business with foreign diplomats it’s unlikely that you are smoking hookah for any reason other than your own entertainment. Keep in mind that all of this course will be based around what actions a person would take to make themselves and those around them the most comfortable and in the coolest way possible. Yes, believe it or not “coolness” is definitely a major factor here. If you are unfamiliar with what it means to be cool I suggest you read Dale Carnegie’s highly acclaimed “How to Win Friends and Influence People” or simply watch any film with Samuel L. Jackson playing a major role.Continue Reading

Hookah Gift Suggestions


Ah yes, it’s that time of year again when the commercials are flowing like eggnog and the credit cards are cowering in fear. You have decided to get a special someone a hookah-themed gift because they expressed an interest in hookah or you are somehow convinced that they would enjoy it.

Well, hookah shopper, I think I have what you need. There’s gifts for the hookah lover of any price range from “I don’t have any money” to “I don’t have a lot of money” to “I’m not really worried about money”.Continue Reading

Top Mistakes Hookah Lounge Owners Make


The hookah lounge is a unique environment where oil barons and drunken college students sit together as neighbors to listen to music, drink alcohol, eat food with their hands, and, of course, smoke hookah. The smoke den is definitely unlike most other nights on the down due to the setting it creates and the lack of commitment it demands from its patrons.

It is, however, very easy to ruin this environment with a few simple mistake that all hookah lounge managers should avoid.Continue Reading

Hookah Culture, Atmosphere, and Everything in Between


Hookah’s are as ancient as the Pyramids or the Hokey Pokey. Since the dawning of said hokey pokey many people have come up with a variety of etiquettes for the smoking of hookah. There are more that come with the territory, but for the newbies I have taken the liberty of writing out the basics.

No matter what the activity, it’s important to note that the owner of the place in which you are participating is the one in charge of all cautionary measures. Remember, you are there to have a good time, but if it’s your apartment then you are there to have a good time and make sure that your house doesn’t get burned down. “Of course!” you say whilst whipping your hair backward and sipping your martini “How else would we smoke hookah if not by the rules of the household?” and, while I admire your taste in cocktails I have to tell you that there are a ton of ways that this can go wrong. I have been in situations where the hookah provider thought that it was “totally fine” if they dropped burning coals on the carpet because “sh*t happens” and “it’s [his/her] hookah, man! Why do you have to be so uptight about it.” Several black splotches in the carpet later it became very apparent that this person was just a run-of-the-mill jerk. Most people are not like this, but if you do encounter them it’s important that you read this article. Later, you can show it to them and point out their obnoxiousness in writing.Continue Reading

The Hookah Store Getting the Good Stuff


So at this point in your hookah hobbyist career you’ve had a few experiences and you’ve decided that this thing is worth some investment; you are going to buy your own set up.
This process is only as stressful as you make it. Remember this is all for your benefit. All of the decisions you’re making are based on your personal preference.

In the westernized world you will find that hookah stores are full of character, especially relative to the stores that you would be otherwise more likely to visit.Continue Reading

Hookah 101: What to Expect

Hookah party

When, as a young suburban high schooler, I was invited to a party significantly above my coolness pay grade I found myself in a world of new experiences. Many of these experiences are better left un-discussed, but one of the more impactful ones for me was the first time I smoked hookah. I coughed and wheezed, and generally made a fool out of myself, but that doesn’t have to be the case for everyone. With a dissertation’s worth of research in the field of “looking like an idiot in public” I have collected what information is necessary to make your first experience better than mine.Continue Reading

The Meaning of the Hookah-Smoking Caterpillar

Hookah-Smoking Caterpillar

One of the most widely debated theories of all time is the meaning of the hookah smoking caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland.”  Many believe it is a reference to sexuality, others believe to be reference to drug use and the altered state of being.

Since we are Hookah smokers, we’re going to give it you straight so pay attention.

One of the more recognized, if quizzical, characters in Lewis Carroll’s 19th century literary classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is the caterpillar with a penchant for asking simple yet odd questions in between inhalations of a hookah.Continue Reading

What Type of Hookah Smoker Are You?

In the recent years it seem like there’s been a rise in the amount of hookah bars and hookah smokers.  More and more people are beginning to see the advantages of hookah and they’re showing up everywhere.

With this rise in hookah smokers also comes their bad habits.  They’re like a new girlfriend that brings baggage from previous relationships.  Some of these new smokers haven’t figured out that hookah isn’t like everything else.

Smoking hookah is social, it’s relaxing and it’s meant to be a time where we, as hookah smokers come together to enjoy the taste, atmosphere and lifestyle.

So here is a list so you can identify the types of smokers around you.Continue Reading