Magda Ibrahim Ali works in production at ISIS.

People in SEKEM: Magda Ibrahim Ali

Magda Ibrahim Ali works at SEKEMs largest enterprise. She particularly enjoys the cultural and social elements of the initiative.

“I especially enjoy the staff circle in the morning”, says Magda Ibrahim Ali. “It is nice to see all the colleagues and listen to what they have worked on over the recent days.” The young member of the staff of SEKEMs company ISIS Organic refers to its well-known morning circles, at which all employees gather and recite a parable by Rudolf Steiner together as they hold hands. Some then tell the others of their latest work.

„Here at SEKEM, the circles not only mean to symbolise the traditional sign of unity. They also demonstrate that everyone is treated with respect. Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish and Helmy even bid farewell to all members of the SEKEM staff for the weekend every Thursday, personally shaking their hands”, the 24-year-old adds.

Magda started to work for ISIS Organic in the production and packaging of dates right after school. ISIS Organic handles the processing of fresh produce. That was seven years ago. Magda still enjoys being a part of the team at SEKEMs largest company. Every morning the modest young woman arrives together with many of her colleagues by bus from Belbeis, a major city in SEKEMs surroundings.

Magda has three sisters and three brothers and lives with her mother. Two of her sisters are also employed: “This is entirely normal for us at home – until we get married”, says Magda. “I am now engaged, but it would still be important to me to remain employed even after marriage.” Keeping busy and realising her goals is obviously a big ideal of hers: “I do not know yet if that may be possible. I will join my future husband in Cairo and then he will decide for us. But I certainly do not wish to sit idly at home all day.”

After work, Magda often remains busy even in her own home. She either cooks for her family or stands behind the counter of her small supermarket, which she operates with her siblings just outside their front door. “I have not learned a real job after school, but started to work right away. Therefore, while I have plenty of experience in the field of my occupation, there are few job opportunities actually open to me. If I have children later, I wish that they may receive a better education than I had – for example, here at the SEKEM School”, Magda adds.

Magda particularly likes her workplace at ISIS Organic for the many cultural and social activities that are regularly integrated into the daily work of the co-workers: “I always participate in one of the painting courses, because I enjoy it so much. The experience of handling the tools and the variety of colours stimulate my imagination. They also free myself from negative thoughts I might have. I am always very relaxed and feel more balanced when I return to my work after such a course.”

Christine Arlt

ISIS Organic - SEKEMs largest enterprise