People in SEKEM: Tharwat Ismail

Tharwat Ismail teaches us that it’s never too late for a new beginning. At the age of 51, Tharwat first joined SEKEM and has been a positive and productive member since. “There are marking dates for every person that shape his or her life; for me those moments were when I first met my wife, had my three children and joined SEKEM.” 

Now warehouse manager at iSiS Organic responsible for 24 employees, Tharwat had a far journey that led him to where he is; 15 years living and working in Kuwait then in Sharm El-Sheikh, one of Egypt’s famous coastal cities, brought Tharwat eventually to SEKEM. 

The love of beauty led to SEKEM

Like most SEKEM’s community members, Tharwat was captivated by the beautiful environment and scenery, the first thing one can notice on Heliopolis University campus or at the farm. His next impression was by SEKEM’s founder; Ibrahim Abouleish, “a charismatic visionary who expresses a genuine interest in individuals,” Tharwat remembers. The two talked about different aspects in life and shared their love for music. “Dr. Ibrahim taught us all to have a sense of ownership and responsibility towards SEKEM. He was generous with his time to listen to everyone and had a talent to read people from the first glance. He used to tell me he knew the burdens I carry at work but that he trusted me with this big responsibility,” recalls the devoted employee. Ibrahim Abouleish wasn’t the only character who left a strong impression on Tharwat Ismail. He adds: “Dr. Mamdouh, the general manager of iSiS Organic is my role model! He’s fair and just, I learned a lot from him, especially his ethics.” 

Arts and culture essential to fulfillment

The warehouse manager is not only an experienced employee but also a talented singer. His colleagues knew about his talent and frequently asked him to sing at the office or on their bus ride to and from work. But it was only a few months ago when he first stood on one of SEKEM stages in a talent show. This will not be the last time for Tharwat on the stage as he will perform during SEKEM’s spring festival. In his personal life just like his professional, Tharwat cherishes beauty and arts, something he has in common with his family. Like father like son; Mohamed his eldest son, shares the love for music and singing. The talents go further in the family to Mohamed’s brothers; Islam who is a talented photographer and Hazem the youngest who’s a passionate actor.

It’s no surprise for a home full of love to have talents and love of arts. The three boys grew up to a beautiful love story between their mother and father who used to be neighbors, fell in love and got married right after graduation. Ever since, Tharwat and Iman, who is currently the General Manager at the Ministry of Transport, shared their lives and grew together, they supported each other through their careers, even when it came to the difficult decision for Tharwat to relocate to Kuwait. 

The beautiful couple, approaching their 60th year, is equally successful and plan to continue developing at work even after retirement, proving that age should never get between you and your dreams.

Nadine Greiss

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