A Hookah (or Shisha) is the oriental version of water pipes that have become very popular also in Europe in the last years. Beside the fact that both are filled with water there is rarely any similarity to e.g. a glass bong. Hookahs should be smoked more slowly than bongs and need to be filled with a different kind of tobacco.
Tobacco for Hookahs / Shisha
Don't use cigarette tobacco with a hookah. It won't perform well and the taste would be rather annoying. Tobacco for shishas is rather coarse and has more moisture than usual tabacco. In some countries the moisture content is limited (e.g in Germany to 5%) for health reasons. In Turkey or Egypt there are tobaccos with up to 30% moisture.
Accessiors for Hookahs
There are some additional accessories for hookahs you may need. If you buy a shisha in a shop this equipment is usually included. The most important accessories are: one or more (depends on the kind of shisha) hoses, tobacco, a sieve for the charcoal, the charcoal itself and, of course, water (try to buy it online).