Manuel Shaabi was born in Lebanon in 1950. He apprenticed as a wood sculptor and cabinet maker. In 1979, he left, because of the Lebanese civil war, for Bavaria, Germany. There he worked making one a kind furnishings and restoring old sculptures and figurines in churches and cathedrals.
In 1984 he moved to Hamburg, Northern Germany because of his daughter's asthmatic condition. Unfortunately he couldn't find enough work, so he went back to school and completed his professional training. His final test was to make a trunk. He made such a fine trunk that he was offered a position at the school as an instructor.
In 1993, having won numerous awards for his cabinet making, he gave it up as it didn't satisfy his creative needs. He started over at Pipe Dan learning to repair pipes. He quickly mastered the art of pipe making and in 1998 left to start his own studio.
Shaabi's' pipes have an unheard of degree of hand craftsmanship. He feels a drill doesn't cut true for the tobacco chamber so he uses a special knife. His draft holes are 4mm. "The draft hole should meet the tobacco chamber just a little bit above the the bottom". He believes this prevents tobacco residue coming up through the air hole and stem.
Manuel Shaabi is probably the only pipemaker who combines the skills of a wood carver, cabinetmaker and pipe smith. His pipes combine the best of European design with a Middle Eastern aesthetic. He has secured some of the best wood on the planet and they smoke as good as they look. Each pipe has an individually hand cut Lucite stem.
Latest news from early October 2007: Due to a serious and painful infection in one of his legs Manuel Shaabi is unable to sit or stand for a longer time in order to work! His physicians recommended absolute indulgence for the leg and advised him to keep away from his pipemaking for at least one year.
Best wishes for his recovery from here!
Manuel Shaabi Horner Landstraße 328 22111 Hamburg Germany Website: http://www.shaabipipes.com/ Email: mailto:email@example.com Mobile: 015150103704 Also available from: pipes2smoke.com