During a recent, lightning survey of cafes, a number of Egyptian women said they were drawn to the pipe as a means of expressing their independence. Most said they had taken up the habit in the last several years, and most said their families would not be pleased to find out.
"I see it as my freedom to have what I want whenever I want it," said Samah Zaky, 25, a graphic designer, who took dainty puffs of a light, apple-tinged tobacco. "Girls in our society have been overprotected, so they want to say, 'No, we can be stronger and say what we want to do.'"
NY Times (registration required): For Women, a Male Mannerism: The Water Pipe