Holy smoke: Karbala's wooden shisha craftsmen survive months-long lockdown

About 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of Iraq’s capital, within walking distance of Karbala’s two Shia 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 Ali is serving endless streams of sweet tea – a must in any Iraqi establishment – to customers sipping on locally-made waterpipes.When they drag on the hand-held hose, the glass b…

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