When did it all begin? At what age did you start smoking?
My memory of a cigar goes back to my last years of school. It was the smoke and the strong aroma of a fine Cuban cigar that always filled our TV room and it clung to my dad over the years. I started smoking, unofficially (drawing a few puffs from my father's cigar), at the age of 17. Then my passion became more serious and I pursued it through the following years.
What was your first cigar?
My first cigar was Bolivar Belicosos Finos.
How would you describe the pleasure of smoking cigars?
Well, smoking a cigar is a collection of many different aspects put together in a unique harmony - creating peace of mind and clarity of thought.
Which are your favorite cigars?
Every cigar has, if I can say, its own time, but I find the Ramon Allones Phoenicio 35 (the anniversary edition of our company, Phoenicia Trading) an excellent cigar.
How many cigars do you smoke?
I smoke one a day and more when I'm on vacation.
At what time of the day do you enjoy your cigars the most?
I like smoking cigars while having my coffee at work - usually between 12 and 2 pm - or in the late afternoon during my tea break time.
What are your favorite cigars for special events?
Cohiba 1966, Ramon Allones 30 Anniversario, Montecristo Grand Edmundo.
How do you light your cigars? Do you have a special lighter?
I usually light my cigar with a single flame torch lighter.
Your favorite Cigar Lounges/Hotels worldwide?
The Wellesley Hotel in London, Sydneys Vendom in Beirut, Lebanon.
Your favorite Cigar Members Clubs worldwide?
VIP Cigar Lounge at LCDH Beirut Duty Free, The Garden Pavilion, London UK,
Cigar Collection in Hong Kong.
With which personalities would you like to smoke a cigar?
Al Pacino, Michael Jordan, Claudia Schiffer, Jack Nicholson.
Where do you keep your cigars?
For my daily personal use, I have an electric humidor in my office and for my own private collection, in my dedicated walk-in humidor at my house.
You enjoy your cigars with a glass of … ?
Glenfiddich 18 Years.
How would you describe your passion for smoking to a non-smoker?
I really believe that smoking for non-smokers is a vague world, lacking knowledge of how sophisticated the product is, how niche in character a cigar can be and how smoking brings value to the life of the enthusiast.
Who has to be featured in a cigar book? Which unique cigar personality worldwide?
Cigars and women?
Well, both are essential in life, but I will choose cigar. A cigar is guaranteed sensation.
Have you smoked cigars with the Castro Family?
Yes, I have.
Tell us a little bit about the Cigar Culture in the Lebanon/Beirut?
There is a very strong cigar culture in Lebanon, as evidenced by the large number of cigar shops and lounges. In fact, Lebanon, a relatively small country, is number one in the world for consumption of Cuban cigars per capita.