It is said, a father is a daughter’s first love. What about a father with four daughters then? Hany El-Sayed, Packaging Manager at NatureTex, SEKEM’s company for Organic textiles says he is surrounded by so much love: “I have four queens, who make me feel like the luckiest man on earth and I only live for protecting and supporting them,” says the devoted father.
In Gelfina, a village nearby the main SEKEM farm, Hany has been living with his family since he was a child. Like in many other villages in Egypt, bringing sons had been of higher preference in the past – a problem which explains the education inequality that most of the Egyptian girls in rural areas had suffered from for years. Unfortunately, there are some families that still hold onto such an outdated tradition until nowadays.
However, for Hany’s family, the situation is different. His four ‘queens’ receive good education, two of them at SEKEM Schools. “My daughters love to go to school, as they find a space there to express their talents,” says the mindful father. “I can see how independent they are becoming. They learn how to reflect and think critically, which I find crucial for shaping their own future,” he explains.
In 1995, Hany began working at the NatureTex factory as a Quality Control Specialist. After three years he got promoted to be the Packaging Supervisor and today he is even the Packaging Manager. “However, I consider my relationship with SEKEM had already started much earlier than that,” says the loyal SEKEM co-worker. His father and uncle were one of the farmers who greened the former desert in the early 1980’s together with Ibrahim Abouleish.
“I inherited the love of SEKEM from my father. His stories about Dr. Abouleish and his generosity inspired me a long time ago. On my first meeting with that great man, I became even more overwhelmed,” Hany recounts. “I will never forget all his words – we are not just employees, but members of one community named SEKEM,” the reliable SEKEM member tells about his beloved Ibrahim Abouleish.
“Like a fish belongs to the water, I belong to SEKEM,” Hany El-Sayed
For almost 23 years, Hany has been one of the active SEKEM members. Besides his main duties, the dedicated SEKEM manager is also the head of the employee representation of NatureTex. The committee does not only link to the management in addressing the employees’ social issues, but it also coordinates for them training sessions for their career development. “With all of these activities, I can never think about working somewhere else than in SEKEM anymore. Like a fish belongs to the water, I belong to here,” says the loyal Hany.
Same as their father and grandfather, Hany’s daughters are willing to work at SEKEM in the future: “SEKEM empowers women and supports their independence by fostering the values of equality of all human beings. I can’t be more proud to see my daughters as a part of such a community.”
Hany El-Sayed dreams of a future, wherein SEKEM’s values of goodness and human development extend to the whole society. Not only for his beloved family, but for all Egypt: “I hope that someday my home country will replicating SEKEM in all the aspects of life”, Hany says.