CSWC Beirut | Middle East

First CSWC Qualification event to ever happen in the Middle East

The first CSWC Qualification event to ever happen in the Middle East was held in Beirut at Eau De Vie Phoenicia Hotel on Saturday April 13. Lebanon’s top 5-star hotel and one of it’s best lounges. Hand Rolled SAL brought the event to Lebanon and the region for the first time with over 70 cigar competitors and 20 spectators having a great night full of excitement starting with a Macanudo Fuma Tasting and Cigar Journal Magazine Blind Cigar Review in a very relaxed and friendly environment.

The qualification event was very stimulating and captivated the audience and competitors alike. With only 2 minutes separating the first and third place. Jean-Pierre Haykal won the CSWC as the champion with a time of 1 hour, 43 minutes, 25 seconds, followed by Abdelraheem Al-Awadi from Kuwait with a time of 1 hour, 42 minutes, 30 seconds and Mihai Itoafa from Romania with a time of 1 hour, 42 minutes and 10 seconds.

This CSWC Qualification was organized by Najat Abdo and Woody Ghsoubi – owner of www.hand-rolled.com.

CSWC Beirut | Middle East

Photo: Abdelraheem Al-Awadi, Jean-Pierre Haykal, Mihai Itoafa


Message from winner Jean-Pierre Haykal:

My road to almost failing,

Weeks before the CWSC, I started my intensive preparations to win out the competition, my mind was set and I was completely focused and motivated.

I entered the competition fully absorbed only to realize, minutes into the contest, that the event is not about winning, competing nor contesting. I felt captivated by the bonding of the leaf, the brotherhood among the aficionados and the warmth of the organizers.

Winning suddenly became a secondary goal, my participation to the event have now wider dimensions, I felt belonging to a group of gentlemen and noblemen.

I today cherish the experience and long to participating in the finals at Croatia.

I praise, once again, the organizers for their perseverance, thorough work and rigorous follow-up in order to secure the success of the CWSC and the welfare of the participants.

I also would like to mention, in gratitude for their mentoring and support, my fellow members of the Lonsdale Squad.

I won where I almost failed .


Jean-Pierre Haykal



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