This year, SEKEM initiative celebrated its 41st anniversary under the slogan “Let’s seed the future”. SEKEM co-workers and students from Heliopolis University gathered already in the morning of the 1st of November and planted wheat and olive trees together. A symbolic act that should also pay attention to one of the SEKEM goals for 2057: Organic and Biodynamic agriculture shall be disseminated in Egypt until 2057 so that the majority of the country’s land is cultivated sustainably.
In the afternoon, the festival began, as usual, in the large SEKEM circle. People from all SEKEM institutions and several friends and guests gathered in SEKEMs roman theater to watch a diverse program on stage together. SEKEMs Vision for 2057 was also focused here. With different contributions from kindergarten children, pupils, students and employees, the goal of freeing Egypt from plastic in the coming years was addressed. In this context, from the 1st of November, plastic bags are forbidden on the SEKEM Farm and the campus of Heliopolis University.
Before starting the artistic contributions, the SEKEM Vision 2057 was read out loud and a big ball was put on stage. “This is not a ball, but our earth and our future”, explained Tamer El-Gazzar, who presented the festive stage program with his actor colleague Hamada Shousha.
As every year, some of SEKEM’s contract farmers joined the celebration. At this year’s anniversary they received special attention and appreciation. The reason: “Farmers are the main actors our way to sustainable agriculture and food production for the future,” said SEKEM CEO Helmy Abouleish. With cheering applause, the audience expressed their agreement with that.
The festival topics “seeding the future” and “no plastic” had been already addressed in the weeks before in various SEKEM institutions. Hence, for instance, employees of SEKEM’s company NatureTex sewed many colorful cloth bags as an alternative to plastic bags, and the children of SEKEM’s special educational school crafted paper cards with seeds together. These seed papers were distributed to the almost 2000 visitors and guests at the end of the celebration, in order to give everyone, the possibility to “seed the future” at different places. Just as Helmy Abouleish explained in the end, when holding the ball, the symbol of the earth, in his hands: “As I hold this ball in my hands, the future of our earth lies in our hands – in the hands of each and every one of us. So, take the seeds and plant them in your villages or on your rooftops in the city and tell everyone that we want to green Egypt and shape a sustainable future for our country together.”