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Rich's Hookah Story

Rich's Hookah Story

By katie / October 9, 2012

What's Your Hookah Story?

Hookah lovers know that it's about more than just the buzz. We are collectors, flavor connoisseurs, and party hosts. Some travel the world collecting hookah experiences, while others prefer to have a small gathering in their own backyard. Regardless of how you do it, we want to know your hookah story. Include as many pictures as you'd like, or even make a video! Send your stories to hookahlove (@)

Back in the summer of 2003 I was a civilian contractor in Baghdad, we lived in Terminal B of Baghdad International Airport. We were paired up with some Lebanese interpreters who grew up with hookahs. Every night they would sit around a fire and smoke them, some of them would break up Cuban cigars and smoke those through the hookah.

After a couple of weeks hanging out with them, we decided to get our own. They cost us $18 dollars each; cheap, cheap hookahs! We weren't sure how our superiors would feel about our new habit, so we set up a room on the third floor of the airport and would sneak up there daily to smoke. When we were done we would always pour our water into a planter with an old dead plant that hadn't seen water since the Gulf War. After a week or so of us disposing of our water in this plant, it sprang back to life.

A couple months went by, and it was our time to leave. We had all of our belongings packed up, and upon search at the NGO terminal we had all of our hookahs pulled from our bags. After the search, an Army guard came over and said, "You cannot take these, they are drug paraphernalia." My buddy said, "We're civilians, we can do drugs if we want to." The official stared at him for a second and said, "Good point, put them back in your bags." Obviously, we use our hookahs legally, but it really cracked me up.

Here we are 9 years later, and I am still a daily smoker.  Both of the hookahs I bought in Iraq were used to the point where they were falling apart, not the best quality. I have gone through a total of 4 hookahs now, and I love the high end accessories that can be had state side. I do not enjoy hookah bars probably for the same reason I dislike regular bars. My ideal session is in front of a camp fire, which I try to do every Saturday night.

I hope you enjoyed my hookah story.


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