A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

the slow pace of innovation in Jezzine

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on September 3, 2008

I love the English-language news services in Lebanon. Between Naharnet, Now Lebanon, and the Daily Star, there is always at least one article or news update that leaves us torn between scratching our heads and laughing out loud.

Yesterday, the Daily Star was the big winner, with a ridiculous piece on how Jezzine’s cafe and restaurant owners have discovered a “new way” to prepare argilehs: through a hollowed-out fruit.

Here’s the article:

“Narguileh takes on new flavors in Jezzine”

Owners of cafes and restaurants in the Southern region of Jezzine have found a new way to serve narguileh – the traditional Lebanese water pipe – as part of this summer’s tourist strategy to attract additional visitors.

“Making narguilehs is no longer limited to their different flavors and sizes,” Youssef, a waiter at Jezzine’s Sakhret alShalal restaurant, told The Daily Star on Monday.”We now use fruits instead of the heart of the narguileh that is usually filled with water.”

According to Youssef, fruits like watermelon, muskmelon, coconuts and even lemons are being used to smoke flavored tobacco. The fruit, Youssef explained, is pierced from the top and the traditional narguileh pipe and hose are then inserted.

“We [also] fill the emptied fruit with any juice flavor upon [the] customer’s request,” he added. “These are fresh and natural water pipes.”

Youssef said that these improvised fruit narguilehs were attracting scores of smokers, whom he said “prefer them to the ordinary ones.”

“The Lebanese people are known for their innovation skills,” he said. “They always create something new to draw tourists and promote the tourist season in their country.”

Oh, those innovating Lebanese. I’m sure that I’ve never heard of argilehs run through fruits before – not in Syria, not in Egypt, and not in the Gulf. Thank goodness those restaurateurs in Jezzine put their thinking caps on.

I can’t wait to see what they might think of next – the Internet, perhaps?

6 Responses to “the slow pace of innovation in Jezzine”

  1. intlxpatr said

    Oh, those innovative Lebanese . . .

  2. Useless…I stick to my traditional arguileh! I missed the Ajami tobacco and I am starting hating those flavored tobaccoes from Egypt.

  3. […] the slow pace of innovation in Jezzine […]

  4. Khalti, tee hee hee. I know – and really, where were the Daily Star’s editors, to keep this article from being such a PR piece?

    Kheireddine … gasp … choke … hack hack hack. I tried ajami once, and my lungs still remember the experience! You are definitely an old school smoker, but my weenie-level arguileh abilities are grateful for the existence of tufa7tein🙂

  5. Moose said

    In March, the smell of nargileh or argileh or chicha is sweet and it wafts onto the sidewalks of Beirut in a subtle kind of way. It is pleasant. In August; its the same fruit scented tobacco, but mixed with the toxic dust, the rotting garbage and the dog doo-doo baking under the never relenting sun, it makes one want to gag.

  6. sandrar said

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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