Cigar Industry

Beirut Blast Damages Casas del Habano

Aug 20, 2020 | By Gordon Mott
Beirut Blast Damages Casas del Habano
Photo/ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images
The dust cloud from the explosion in Beirut on August 4 could be seen from hundreds of miles away.

If you’ve been watching the news recently, you’ve probably seen footage of the crimson cloud that rose from Beirut’s harbor after a pair of explosions devastated most of the area. A warehouse filled with ammonium nitrate exploded in Beirut’s harbor on August 4, sending a blast wave across the entire city that killed nearly 200 people and left 300,000 residents homeless. The explosion also shattered windows for miles around, according to published reports, causing damage to two La Casa del Habano cigar shops.

“The team members that were present at the time of the explosion are lucky to be alive,” says Hisham Lofti, commercial manager of Phoenicia Trading A. A., the principal importer of Cuban cigars into the Middle East.

Lofti, who was at the company’s distribution headquarters in Cyprus, says the blast was clearly audible on the island, nearly 160 miles away. But, he says, the company’s main distribution facility located there was not damaged.

Beirut Aftermath
Images display the aftermath of the Beirut explosion, where two Casas del Habano were severely damaged, with humidors, windows and lounges completely wrecked.

Two of the company’s four La Casa del Habano shops in Beirut, however, had windows blown out, shelves knocked down, and boxes of cigars thrown on the floor by the event. The two shops were not extremely close to the blast site; one was four miles away and the other was six miles away on the edge of the primary explosion radius.

“We have already started fixing the shops and the offices, and we should be back to operating normally very soon,” says Lofti. He added that the one shop that suffered less damage has already resumed selling cigars this week.

Phoenicia Trading A.A. is the official distributor of Cuban cigars for more than 40 countries, including Lebanon, Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and nations in the Middle East.

More in Cigar Industry

See all
Handmade Cigar Imports To The U.S. Remain Positive Through May

Handmade Cigar Imports To The U.S. Remain Positive Through May

Cigar import numbers continue their upward trend this year, improving on 2021, one of the best ever …

Aug 12, 2022
Tabacalera Finalizes Purchase Of Dominican Cigar Factory

Tabacalera Finalizes Purchase Of Dominican Cigar Factory

Tabacalera de Garcia, one of the world’s largest handmade cigar factories, has been completely …

Aug 2, 2022
PCA And BCAA Form New Collaboration

PCA And BCAA Form New Collaboration

Two cigar industry organizations, the Premium Cigar Association and the Boutique Cigar Association of …

Jul 26, 2022
Handmade Cigar Imports Continue To Grow

Handmade Cigar Imports Continue To Grow

Imports of premium, handmade cigars were up 5.3 percent for the first four months of this year when …

Jul 18, 2022
Standout Cigars From The 2022 PCA Trade Show

Standout Cigars From The 2022 PCA Trade Show

The handmade cigar industry gathered in Las Vegas this week at the PCA trade show to exhibit upcoming …

Jul 15, 2022
General And Fuente In Legal Battle Over “X”

General And Fuente In Legal Battle Over “X”

Another fight over the use of the letter “X” has erupted and this time it involves General Cigar Co.

Jul 13, 2022