Holy smoke: Waterpipes keep bubbling in Iraqi shrine city
Holy smoke: Waterpipes keep bubbling in Iraqi shrine city

Iraq’s Karbala is known as a religious pilgrimage site, visited by millions of worshippers, but shisha-smokers revere it for a different reason: its signature wooden waterpipes.About 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of Iraq’s capital, within walking distance of Karbala’s two Shiite shrines, avid smokers drag puffs of fruit-flavoured tobacco from their tall pipes.The business of strictly gender-separated cafes has carried on, despite the heavy health risks associated with smoking and a full-blown pandemic that has brought an average of 4,000 new coronavirus cases a day to Iraq.Cafe owner Hassan …

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