There was a lot of love in the air on the 28th of July when SEKEM Managing Director Helmy Abouleish celebrated his 60th birthday. “You sometimes drive us to the brink of madness with your demands, but I have learned one very important quality from you: love for people and for our work,” said Mohamed Anwar, factory manager of SEKEM’s largest company ISIS Organic, during his birthday speech on the morning of 28 July. Helmy Abouleish responded by expressing that he feels a deep affection for all employees and community members, which is like a family feeling: “That you all exist and that I can work with you every day is the greatest and most beautiful gift I can imagine. I love you all with all my heart,” were the words of the SEKEM CEO.
The day started with the big staff circle at the SEKEM Mother Farm, followed by a collective procession into the amphitheatre, where touching birthday speeches were followed by a performance of the Egyptian folklore group “El-Warsha”. Dressed in traditional costumes, “El-Warsha” performed a mix of stick dances as well as flute and drum music, which caused great joy in the audience.
The rhythmic sounds of “El-Warsha” accompanied Helmy Abouleish throughout his birthday and even until the following day in the desert. In the afternoon on his great day, the staff of Heliopolis University enjoyed the artistic performance and on the 29th of July, even many people from the SEKEM Wahat Farm and its surroundings in the western desert of Egypt had the pleasure. The grand finale took place here under the starry sky and thus in a particularly magical atmosphere.
The “El-Warsha” performances were a gift from Helmy Abouleish to the community, but of course he himself was also given plenty of presents for his birthday. By far the most impressive presentation was certainly the inauguration of the first residential house on the SEKEM Wahat farm built entirely from sustainable materials. Situated on a hill of the farm, with a view of the first greened desert areas, Helmy Abouleish spent the first night of his new year here with his wife Konstanze.