In Memory of Ibrahim Abouleish – SEKEM’s Visionary Leader

On the 23rd of March, 1937 Ibrahim Abouleish was born, and while most dream of leaving a legacy through their offspring, Ibrahim Abouleish has left way more. Three years from his passing, yet his memory and dream continue to live on.

SEKEM’s visionary founder dreamed of a better future for man and nature where they coexist harmoniously and fulfill their purpose. His dream, once considered impossible, became a reality against all odds; land was revitalized and a community of brotherhood was created, in the rural desert land outside Cairo. Ibrahim Abouleish has changed the lives of many people, and still after his passing, he continues to shape our future through his life’s work.

On the occasion of his 83rd birthday, we started to collect memories of SEKEM co-workers!

“He had the vision and the strength to overcome difficult situations. I’m certain no one could have endured what he has. His soul lives on in every building, in every home of beauty, and in every stone and tree,” Osama El-Zamel, Financial Manager at Heliopolis University.


“I was so touched by him that I saw him in a dream asking me: ‘What are you doing?’ I answered him and then he said to me, ‘See, in SEKEM everyone knows their part and purpose and they always will as long as SEKEM is there.’” Gihan Hamza, former events manager at Heliopolis University. 


“I knew him in 2005; I was 21 years old back then and just graduated. He was keen to meet everyone before joining the school staff. He told me to forget everything I learned and start from scratch and asked me strange questions that surprised me. After that, I started learning from his philosophy, which is the foundation of SEKEM schools until now, and I think his ideas will last,” Mohamed Anwar, teacher at the SEKEM School and head of the Education for Sustainable Development Program.


“He said: I want love to be present in the place and all differences put aside so that we can devote ourselves to work. I think that these words are the most beautiful of what he said,” Nazih Gadallah, Security Consultant at Heliopolis University.


The memory of SEKEM’s founder guides SEKEM and many of it’s co-workers especially now through this tough time, and we’re certain that the values he taught us will help us to act responsible and with confidence to shape a brighter future. 

Commemoration for Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish in Germany