Fujairah Collage

Fujairah Collage
Some distinctive landmarks in Fujairah

Friday, June 6, 2008

Fujairah Exports Shisha Café to USA

At a time when restrictions are being imposed on Shisha smoking in the United Arab Emirates a Fujairah-inspired ‘Hookah House’ is hubba-bubbling along in Hendersonville, North Carolina.

The Hendersonville Epicurean, which writes about all things foody in the area, gives the opening hours of Hookah House, posts some photos of the establishment, tells the story of its origins and offers the reviewer’s impressions. Here is a taster:

“Owners Allison and Kevin have worked hard to re-open after moving from the other side of Main Street. Their goal is to provide a welcoming space for all ages (during the day) and adults at night.”

“Kevin was introduced to shisha while stationed in the Persian Gulf. Living in Fujairah, a city in the UAE — The United Arab Emirates — he observed that the hookah provided a venue for social interaction.”

“At about 10 o'clock at night the merchants would close their shops and bring their couches and tables into the street,” he recalled. “They would bring out their hookahs and board games and sit there for hours — till two or three in the morning — playing backgammon, drinking coffee, talking and sharing the shisha. “It's really not about smoking,” Kevin continued. “It's about fellowship — a medium to bring people together for relaxation and conversation. That's what we've tried to maintain here in the Hookah House. It's Americanized in terms of the decor, but we've tried to create an atmosphere that's conducive to that sense of community — to get people away from the big screen TV to where they are sitting there, face to face, and relating to each other as human beings.”

There are more personal impressions of the Hendersonville Hookah experience at this link.

Sharing the Shisha Experience
Another, review of the Hendersonville Hookah House, with more detail for Americans on shisha smoking and how they are finding the experience can be found at: Sharing the Shisha, Bold Life, 1 July 2007.

Dr. Geoff Pound

Image: Sharing the Shisha in USA, courtesy of Bold Life.

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