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The massell is a kind of tobacco used in smoking the shisha (Nargila, Argila, Boury and Gouza). It is a blend of international tobacco leaves. This blend gives a special flavor and taste with the additives of molasses extracted from sugarcane and other additives. The Authorities of Measurement Standards have decided on those additives, so that it will be adequate for smoking.
The usage of massell in Egypt was introduced with the Ottoman's occupation by the beginning of the 19th century. The idea was initiated from the Ottoman's vision whilst smoking the shisha they brought in with them from Turkey. They used to smoke what was called " Tombak"; a kind of tobacco planted in Turkey and Iran and where its preparation does not include and technical process (craft) and its quality depends on the kind of tobacco used.
By that time the Egyptians were fond of imitating the Turkish for what they have seen of development in the various areas that accompanied their existence; in the fields of industry, agriculture and culture. The problem for Egyptians was from where to bring the shisha and the tobacco?
Thus they started to think in making a replacement for it. They brought a coconut fruit and made two holes to extract the syrup inside and then they used a bamboo stick as a substitute for the rubber tube. The haggar was made of burnt clay, where you place the tobacco on. Thus the process of producing the shisha was launched successfully and the Egyptians named it Gouza as an autonomy to the name of the coconut fruit in Arabic.
The Egyptians started to think in bringing the tobacco, by that time there were many people working in selling the rolled cigarettes. It was a flourishing trade by that time. It was known that the tobacco used in the rolled cigarettes was cut in fine layers, different than what was used by the Ottomans. During the trials for smoking the shisha, the tobacco was not stable on the haggar, thus they failed in imitating the Ottomans.
In one of the trials, one of those who loved smoking was having his dinner; bread and molasses extracted from sugarcane which was a very popular dessert in Egypt. He was trying to fix the tobacco, then an idea occurred to him to use the molasses for being sticky to give the tobacco texture; the process ended successfully. The most important thing is that it gave the smoker a distinguished flavor whilst smoking, thus the new method of smoking started which was mixing tobacco with molasses (extracted from sugarcane) thus was named massell.
The manufacturers and traders observed that this method started to be so popular in Egypt and hence started to think how to develop it to be valid for smoking and in packets which will facilitates usage. They used names to be so close to the nature of the Egyptian consumer who were mainly by that time the farmer, thus they gave name to it as trademarks; the palm, the cow, the rose, the canon, etc.
This industry developed, whether in massell which got various flavors and kinds. Competition increased too between the working companies in this field and the most important thing became the know-how of the product. As development took place with the massell it took place too with the shisha till it reached what it is presently.
With the advent in the 20th century whereas of smoking and the discovered harms of smoking cigarettes. Like what happened to the international companies of great concern to the studies to decrease the harms of smoking, the massell companies started to think in ways to decrease harms albeit the massell is less harmful then the tobacco cigarettes.
By mid eighties, one of the Egyptian companies started to develop the massell products, thus the production of new brands and kinds with new specifications. In addition to the decrease of nicotine percentage till reaching the ceasing of tar totally. They added flavors to the massell like apple and other fruits. The target of these companies was to attract the cigarettes smokers to the massell.