Sheesha Shop: Haven for Shisha Enthusiasts in Mohandiseen
41 Syria St.
Ahmed El Dahan
The World Lung Foundation recognizes Egypt as one of the top ten consumers of tobacco in the world. In addition, the percentage of adult smokers in Egypt appears to be on the increase. After cigarettes, shisha smoking is Egypt’s second preferred mode of guzzling fumes into their systems. As sad as the health-conscious folks may take this news, it sure has the merchants smiling.
The first thing that hit us when stepping into Mohandiseen’s Sheesha Shop is the massive range of choices for sale. The centre display alone had no less than thirty shishas with a lifetime’s stock of molasses stacked underneath. On closer inspection, we came to realise that this shop sells everything imaginable related to shisha; from special foil and piercers, to furry hoses a la Cruella De Vil.
Readymade shishas are available for prices that could set you back 89LE, for mini versions, all the way up to 600LE if you go larger. Each shisha comes with a convenient case that makes it easy to transport.
For those with a more independent approach to their smoking, Sheesha Shop offers limitless customization, with a range between 100LE-4000LE of custom made ‘hookahs’. We learned that you can choose every part of your shisha depending on what you need. When customising, choices range from local made items, to Czech and Romanian designs.
There’s a selection of standard vases in various materials and designs, from simple glass at 20LE to Bohemian Crystal (900LE). The shop has a shisha vase for every occasion; from brightly coloured plastic suitable for the beach, to psychedelically designed glass pieces suitable for late-night sessions.
Aesthetics aside, without good flavouring, a shisha is worthless. Sheesha Shop stocks local varieties such as Nakhla and Basha (6.5LE+) and are the sole distributors of imported varieties like Mazaya (9LE for 40g-40LE for 250g). Then there’s the impressive French Assal Tobacco (149LE for 400g) that comes in a sweet caramel-vanilla as well as a coconut flavour that actually includes coconut flakes.
Of course, there’s no smoke without fire and Sheesha Shop provide a variety of coals, most notably the Coco Nara (11LE for 250g, 20LE or 500g, 35LE for 1kg), made of coconut wood, which makes it last for as long as 1.5 hours before it needs swapping.
The more healthier choices tucked away in the shop include European made steam stones; Shisharoma (small 50LE, medium 90LE, large 350LE) that provide a tobacco-less smoke, as well as the German made Shiazo (small 250LE, large 350LE). The Lebanese Sheecool (small 229LE, large 390LE) is an impressive pre-packaged acrylic water pipe that’s placed in the freezer before serving to give a cool, flavourful smoke believed to eliminate smoking side effects.
An interesting twist on the regular shisha bowl had a hook-shaped contraption locally known as El Hagar El Ma’loob (110LE-179LE) is available in both local and imported versions; its main purpose is to eliminate contact between the stones and coal thus giving a pleasant drag, lacking coal impurities.
On the hipper side of things, the E-sheeshas (130LE), similar in concept to the more popular e-cigarette, are supplied in an appealing selection of flavours including watermelon, grape and peach, providing their holder with 600 sweet puffs of smoke while skipping the nicotine and tar.
Sheesha Shop is one of, if not the, only shisha store in Cairo that has had attention paid to its furnishing and décor to compliment its classy collection of products. Service is polite and they offer shisha enthusiasts just about everything.
Smoking shisha is bad for your health.