Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Pictures from Baghdad...

I put up some pictures on my yahoo can get to them by going here

and checking them out. Let me know if ya'll want to see more pictures from around Baghdad or of me ;-), just let me know what you want to see.


(New pics updated 19JUN04)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the pictures. But what is that thing you have in your mouth?

Blogger Dave Solimini said...

the thing in his mouth in this picture is a hooka. Its kind of like a big pipe that watercools the smoke from flavored tobacco. Ok, its basically a really fancy bong. But you smoke a light flavored tabacco in it. Fairly harmless cause the smoke is very light. its a part of middleeast culture, really. Friends get together and smoke a hooka together. Its not uncommon to see one oncampus at WM now and then.

Blogger Jess said...

Dave, it was waaaay more often than "now and then"... remember that kid from your freshman hall? That kid's eyes were always red and he and his buddies were always all over that picnic table outside Fauquier with the bright purple hookah. Brian used to just shake his head, and now there he is... (shaking my head).

Blogger FSIO's World said...

Dave, you're partially right. It's actually called a Shisha here. Apparently "hooka" is actually just some word made up by Americans (supposedly). Everything else you're right on about. It was pretty cool to use, the tobacco is flavored all kinds of ways: strawberry, banana, apple, cappachino, etc. It was really smooth and the water filters out all the nicotine, so, it's much better than say a cigar or cigarette. We actually have one sitting in our room that we light up occasionally when there are a bunch of people in here talking. Unfortunately, they're considered drug paraphenalia by the military, so I can't ship one home. :-( Dumb military. B

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing to me how smoking from hookahs can be safe. Found this web site about health risk associated with smoking. Check it out.

Read the part under the heading "What about more “exotic” forms of smoking tobacco, such as clove cigarettes, bidis, and hookahs?"

Blogger FSIO's World said...


I reread the posts and not one person said it was "safe." The two people knowledgable about Shishas said that it was a safER form. As cigar smoking is safER than cigarette smoking. I understand your point, just please actually read the posts before you choose to comment on them. Thanks.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did read the post and you are right about not one person saying it was “safe”. It was a word I used after reading the web article and to describe what I thought you were implying by your comments concerning the removal of nicotine. I apologize if I misread your intentions. My only intention here is for your health today and in the future. Do you think it’s safe to use the Shisha? According to the American Cancer Society the bottom line is that tobacco in any form is dangerous. Did you read the web article from the American Cancer Society?

Blogger FSIO's World said...


For those who have not gone to the site, I'll post the ACS paragraph here.

"Hookah smoking, which started in the Middle East, involves burning flavored tobacco in a water pipe and inhaling the smoke through a long hose. It has recently become popular among young people, especially around college campuses. It is marketed as being safer than cigarettes because the percent of tobacco in the product smoked is low. This claim for safety is not true. Several types of cancer, as well as other health effects, have been linked to hookah smoking."

Not that I am by any means a pro-smoking advocate, but this is pretty weak arguement against the type of tobacco and the method of inhaling it. Basically, the arguement is "nuh uh, all tobacco is bad." Which probably is the truth, but this paragraph in no way addresses the difference in smoking a Shisha as opposed to other ways of smoking. Obviously, I'm not trying to say that smoking shisha is entirely healthly, but if you've happened to notice, I'm in BAGHDAD, IRAQ and every time I step out the door, I have to put on 10 pounds of body armor and lock and load my M4.
Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate your concern for my health, whoever it is that you are. There is another aspect to this, and that is the Iraqi Culture. They freely give things to guests in their house and if you refuse, you are causing great offense. With this particular encounter involving the Shisha, we had been invited to the Grand Opening of a restaurant here (a very good one, I might add) and were presented with the gift of smoking the Shisha with the owner. I could and would not offend him with a dismissal of his hospitality. I hope this offers you some insight into the situation. And just like enjoying a fine Cuban cigar from time to time (which they sell here for fairly cheap :-D ), I enjoy a few puffs on a Shisha as well. B

Blogger Dave Solimini said...

Ive always thought that "Hookah" was the name for the aparatus itself while "shisha" was the word for the type of tobacco. Oh well -- learn something new every day ;-)

Blogger FSIO's World said...


You're partially right. It's called a very many things depending on where you are. The Iraqis here seem to take pride in calling it a Nagila, which is the name for the appartus and the tobacco. So, at this point I'm thinking, just use whatever works for you. :-)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Annon#2,

One thought I had concerning smoking the hooka or shisha or what ever it is called (makes me think of the Beatles song where they go "hookukachu, hookokachu..don't know why, anyways, back to the point)...Since it is a "community pipe" and you are using it in an area of the world where disease such as TB and Hepatitus are still prevalent you ought to be real careful who you smoke this thing with. Both of these diseases (as well as others) are droplet born diseases and can flourish in these types of environments (the water bottle portion of the hooka) and then be passed in vapor to you lungs. Just a thought to keep in mind.

Keep up the posts and thanks for your service to our country.

Blogger FSIO's World said...


Lol. Yeah, I definitely thought about that too (I tell another story that'll horrify you later) when they pulled it out. But they have these plastic caps that go over the pipe end and everyone gets their own. They use only bottled water and becuase you're only inhaling from the pipe, that should really minimize the risks (at ease, Anon#1, I know, I know). Minimize the risks that YOU brought up. But thanks for the concern about my health, I appreciate it. B

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The smoke is so much softer than cigarette smoke and it smells a hell of a lot better.
My best friend and I just bought a light-up pink hookah from an online website.
Can't wait till it comes!


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