The Boutique Cigar Association of America (BCAA) has signed a partnership agreement with Faieq Alzayani Co. W.L.L. (FAZCO) that will bring the organization’s cigars to Middle East and North African markets.

The announcement came from Dr. Gaby Kafie, chairman of the BCAA board, and pictured at left, above. He said that the agreement represents a new frontier and a new business model for many American cigar brands who may not have considered markets such as the Middle East and North Africa. “We cannot ignore the opportunity presented to us by our regional partner given the enormous demand for superior quality handmade cigars,” he said via a press release.

The BCAA will begin identifying an initial batch of cigars that will head to the Middle East, starting with a release in Bahrain before expanding to the surrounding region via FAZCO distribution, sales and retail network in the region, which has been built over the past 40 years. The two entities are beginning the selection process, looking particularly for brands that can handle the quality and production capacity requirements for the region.

“I have had the pleasure of visiting many premium cigar producers in the United States; what I have seen from all of the BCAA brands and producers is individuals and families whose passion, integrity and commitment to producing some of the world’s finest quality cigars are second to none,” said Ali F. Alzayani, chairman of FAZCO’s board, via a press release. He added that he sees the quality controls and production process of American cigar makers is superior to other manufacturers, and that because of this, he sees the future of cigars as being “new world” offerings.

The BCAA works closely with organizations such as Cigar Rights of America and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to address legislation on behalf of their members, the majority of whom are smaller and medium-sized producers.

Image via the Boutique Cigar Association of America.

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.