Christmas at SEKEM

In many parts of the world, Christmas is a time for celebrations, decorations, family, joy, kindness and giving to others; and for many industries it’s a time for high profitability and sales. But what does Christmas mean to the other parts of the world? In Egypt, a country with most of its population following the Muslim doctrine, Christmas is still celebrated, not only by its Christian community. Streets are decorated with lights and Christmas trees. Muslims and Christians alike attend celebrations, sing Christmas Carols and offer each other presents as Secret Santa.

Also in SEKEM Christmas is present. SEKEM community with its 2000 employees and affiliated members unifies people of different backgrounds, ethnicity, gender, nationality and religion. It is in its core belief and vision to promote equality and enable people as individuals and as a part of a community at the same time. SEKEM welcomes partners, guests, interns and exchange students from all over the world, who bring their cultural values and learn from the local cultural as well. This variety and openness to differences is what makes SEKEM a unique initiative in Egypt.

“All religions and cultures have their place in SEKEM and we are surrounded by the good thoughts of many friends all over the world who give SEKEM spiritual energy,” SEKEM founder, Ibrahim Abouleish, once said. Ibrahim Abouleish presented each holiday, no matter whether from the Muslim or Christian calendar, in an open discussion to allow the community members to share and express their values. His son, Helmy Abouleish, now continues to follow this tradition in his talks with the employees. And within SEKEM community there are always small ceremonies on the occasion of the different religious feasts – so it is for Christmas. SEKEM Choir makes an annual performance at the school, as well as the celebrations taking place at Heliopolis University.

SEKEM wishes all its friends in the world Joyful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Nadine Greiss

The Harmony of Diversity: Cairo Celebration Choir at “Space of Culture”