The source is: Cafes, Hookahs and Conversation. Rive, Universita del Mediterraneo (Rome), n°5, 1997 : pp. 47-53 (note: English version by Italian translator, not by the author).
Many readers will remember its universally famous beginning: “Although it is a familiar object for a billion people in the world, the four hundred year old hookah seems struck by a strange silence. Most encyclopaedias overlook [...].
Sometimes, the waiter would alternate this with the distribution of new live embers for burning the tobacco. Freedom Square, located in the city centre, is where during the daytime taxis for Tobruk, Benghazi, Cairo or Tunis wait far a full load before leaving. Their cosmopolitan customers assemble at the coffee house on the esplanade. There many of them order a hookah full of their favourite tobacco, chosen from the wide range of mo'essel brands on offer, mainly imported from neighbouring Egypt, It is also quite usual far customers to bring their own tobacco.
Yves Traynard. The Shisha Ban. Etudiant solidaire 2007 (24 Jul)
Left: Café de la Médina : 3 fumeurs de chicha (Tripoli – Libye)(copyright: Yves Traynard)