“When teaching, you never know when or how the results of your effort will show. It is like Dr. Ibrahim used to say, the land is poor, yet it is our job to plant the seeds and watch them patiently grow. From that moment onwards, I took upon myself the responsibility to plant the seeds regardless of the results,” says Amira Badawy, SEKEM’s passionate teacher and Primary School Manager, who has been a part of the SEKEM community for 19 years.
As one of seven children, Amira grew up in a loving home in the village of Awlad Seif in Belbeis, close to the SEKEM Farm. Her family and upbringing shaped her character; her compassion and ability to forgive were passed on from her mother, perseverance and discipline from her father. “I think that those traits are what SEKEM community leaders recognized when I first met them”, Amira tells.
From one dream to another
Amira Badawy never expected to become a teacher. The Mass Communication graduate had pictured a career in Cairo as a public figure and a TV or Radio presenter. Hence, Amira applied for a Public Relations position at SEKEM. Full of confidence, she met her interviewers and was welcomed to join SEKEM from the next day – but to her surprise she was asked to join the teaching team. She wondered what everyone saw in her to insist on her becoming a teacher whilst she couldn’t see it herself. After she went through the teacher’s training for almost a month, Ibrahim Abouleish supported her initial wish and gave her the role of a Public Relations Specialist at SEKEM’s Headquarter in Cairo. But her engagement to this position did not last for long, Amira was much inspired by the teaching training she had received, and the vision that led the approach and shortly she returned back to the SEKEM School.
Now one of SEKEM’s renowned teachers and the primary school manager, Amira Badawy lives by SEKEM’s values. She adds; “I sought the career and prestige led by my vanity, and I reached a meaning and purpose for life instead. I can no longer imagine having a different career or place to work. SEKEM became a major part of who I am and what I believe in.”
Leading by example and fulfilling a vision
Also Amira’s private fulfillment started in SEKEM: she fell in love with Mohamed Hassouna, who used to be her fellow teacher. When the couple was expecting their first child, Amira was in doubt about her ability to continue work. Right at that time a nursery for SEKEM’s employees was built up and enabled Amira to continue her career while looking after her family.
Amira does not only plant the seeds of love and knowledge into the minds of her students, but also in her home and amongst her family. This is obviously noticeable in her daughters as mentions her colleague: “I really enjoy working with Amira, she is always open to new ideas and gives space to the dialogue to reach its potential, and I can see so much of her in her daughters Mariam and Jana. They are truly open to new things in spite of their young age,” says Theresa Naqy the Choir teacher at SEKEM School.
Hence, Amira is able to realize her vision of enabling people to unfold their potentials by planting the seeds and patiently watching them grow – in her own children, her students and all her fellows.