The History of the Hookah Pipe
Hookah pipes, like many traditional curios shared amongst different cultures, are devices with many names. In the West, the name "hookah" is generally accepted as the term for the water pipe while the word "shisha" is applied to the flavored tobacco one would smoke out of it. In the Middle East, Eurasia, and South Asia (the birthplace of the modern hookah as we know it), the pipe itself is referred to as the "shisha," while the hookah tobacco is called "Mu'assal," "Moassal," or "Tombak," amongst others. Different names for this fascinating pastime vary depending on one's geographical location and cultural history.