History Of Hookah

Where did shisha originate & how it reached Australia

Shisha originaed from the sun-drenched northwestern India, near the whispers of Rajasthan and Gujarat’s borders, the hookah’s journey began nearly a millennium ago. In those early days, its form was humble yet functional, crafted from the simplicity of coconut shells, its design echoing the rugged terrains from which it emerged. These initial hookahs, unrefined in their essence, were the vessels for the serene indulgences of opium and hashish.

Persia (17th century)

As the hookah wandered, it wove its narrative through the grand tapestry of the Persian Kingdom around the 17th century, embracing lands that now bear the names of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the vast stretches of Middle Asia, reaching the Arab sands of Northern Africa. It was in Persia’s embrace that the hookah embraced tombeik, a dark, soulful tobacco, born from the fertile soils of modern-day Iran. Tombeik, known for its intense character, found its home in the large, traditional heads of the hookah, kissed by the direct heat of smoldering coals, unraveling a tapestry of robust flavors.

Turkey (17th – 18th century)

The narrative of the hookah continued to evolve as it graced the Ottoman landscapes about five centuries ago. In the refined circles of Turkey’s upper echelon and the contemplative realms of intellectuals, the hookah underwent a renaissance. Its stature grew, its complexity unfolded, and it began to mirror the more intricate designs we recognize today. The artisans of the era bestowed upon the hookah the luxuries of brass and glass, moving away from the simplicity of wood. It adorned itself with intricate paintings and mosaics, each a testament to beauty and elegance, transforming it into a symbol of cultural sophistication.

In the heart of Turkey, the hookah inspired the birth of convivial coffee shops, emerging as a social cornerstone two to three centuries ago. Here, the hookah bar waiter, a maestro of flavors and preparations, commanded respect akin to that of a chef, his craft a delicate dance of packing and moisture, a ritual where even the touch of coals was a gesture of deep cultural reverence.

Lebanon (17th – 18th century)

The whispers of the hookah’s smoke carried its legacy southwards, from Turkey to the cultural tapestries of Lebanon and Syria, where it was lovingly called argile. Its journey continued, weaving through the narratives of Egypt and Morocco, where it adorned the name shisha. Even further, in the realms of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, it was known as the hubble bubble, a name that echoes the mystical stories of its past.

australia (20th - 21st century)

We have asked all the professionals on why it is now a trend in Australia. In many cities, though, hookah lounges have been growing in popularity in any moving economy. From the year 2000 to 2004, over 200 new hookah cafés opened for business, most of them targeted at young adults and located near college campuses or cities with large Middle-Eastern communities. The indutry started to sell niche items like individual shisha parts and natural coals to fit into the healthy trend. This activity continues to gain popularity within the post-secondary student demographic.

The history of the hookah in Australia is a reflection of its global journey from its origins in Asia and the Middle East to becoming a popular social and cultural activity especially in the Melbourne nightlife. When the pandemic came, Tuah has been the first to explore heavily into online E-commerce shisha which has been the epitome of the success in the hookah industry, also known as the shisha industry, first orignated in Melbourne.

what contributed to more growth in australia ?

The smoking ban movement (2006, 2010 & 2019)

The smoking ban in Australia, particularly in enclosed areas of pubs and clubs, came into effect on December 1, 2006. Subsequently, smoking was banned in outdoor eating and drinking places from December 9, 2010. The ban on smoking within 10 meters of the boundary and entry area of community events and facilities was implemented from July 1, 2019. These legislative measures aimed to create smoke-free environments and protect public health by reducing exposure to secondhand smoke.

This movement forces the shisha business owners to move online. Where customers can actually purchase all hookah products online with very little hassle. Smoking at home is not illegal in Australia. Hence, those who cannot afford to go to expensive lounges or would like to chill more at home find this to be the better alternative. 

dense migration of middle east citizens to australia (from 1980s till today)

The migration of people from the Middle East to Australia has been a significant phenomenon in the country’s history. The Middle East has been a source of migration to Australia for several decades, with many migrants arriving due to historical events, economic opportunities, and political reasons.

According to data from the 1996 census, the countries that represent the most significant sources of migration to Australia from the Middle East are Lebanon, Egypt, Iran, and Iraq. All of which these countries have contributed and share their cultures extensively, making it more and more famous in Australian Central Business Districts where friday night-goers love to spent their after-work shenanigans.

These countries have contributed to the diversity of the Middle Eastern communities in Australia, which are characterized by linguistic, religious, business, and other social and cultural connections. The migration patterns from the Middle East to Australia have been influenced by various factors, including wars, religious persecution, and economic hardship.

For example, during the 1980s, there was a major war between Iran and Iraq, which resulted in an increase in migration to Australia. In the late 1980s and 1990s, many professionals from Iran migrated to Australia due to economic and political hardship. As of 2006, there were 193,633 people born in the Middle East living in Australia, accounting for 4.4% of the overseas-born population.
The largest proportion of these migrants were born in Lebanon (39.7%), followed by Iraq (16.8%), Turkey (15.7%), Iran (11.6%), Israel (4.0%), and Syria (3.6%).

the growth of e-commerce stores nationwide

The e-commerce growth rate in Australia has been significant over the years. In turn, this also affects the buying behaviour of shisha items online. Fans started to buy other special items which include, shisha hoses and shisha heads just to name a few. 

 Here are some key statistics regarding the growth rate of e-commerce stores in Australia:

  • In 2022, Australia’s e-commerce growth rate was 19.91%, showing a decrease from the previous year.
  • The e-commerce and online shopping industry in Australia grew at a rate of 23.4% in 2023, with revenues expected to reach $35.92 billion in 2024.
  • Australian e-commerce is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.33% over the next four years, reaching a market volume of $49.47 billion by 2028.
  • The Australian e-commerce market is expected to contribute to the worldwide growth rate of 10.4% in 2024, with an increase of 10.3% that year.


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