“I believe in destiny, but I never keep waiting for things to happen”, says Ibrahim Saad, Agricultural Planning Manager of SEKEM. “When I was at high school, I heard about a growing initiative called SEKEM. I walked about four kilometres on a desert road and climbed a mountain to get there to have a look. Then it happened: I fell in love with SEKEM.”
The 52-years old SEKEM co-worker started to work with SEKEM directly after his graduation from the Agriculture Department at Al-Azhar University in Cairo. “When I went to SEKEM Farm for the first time, I saw two or three cows and only two ladies working on the farm. One of them was Angela Hofmann”, Ibrahim recounts. Angela Hofmann is a German expert for biodynamic cultivation methods and is committed to SEKEM since more than 30 years. The two agricultural experts had a memorable conversation back then, which impressed Ibrahim Saad that much, that he decided to start working for SEKEM in 1988.
Ibrahim Saad knows the SEKEM Farm like the back of his hand. He started with constructing the roads, then he became in charge of gardening empty areas and later on he coordinated the irrigation systems. In 1991 Ibrahim became responsible for the agricultural management of the SEKEM Farm and in 2005 he shifted his activity and became involved to SEKEMs company Libra as Production Manager. “I am proud that I could contribute to the compost production project until it became a trademark in 2007”, says Ibrahim, who took over his current position in 2009. “In SEKEM I had the opportunity to be involved to many different jobs, which brought me a wide range of experiences.”
According to the production demands of SEKEMs companies ISIS Organic, Lotus and NatureTex, Ibrahim Saad plans and organizes the cultivation of different crops on SEKEM Farms as well as with SEKEMs contracted farmers that are located all over Egypt. “My work is mainly about planning, which requires the consideration of many different aspects. Accordingly, I am spending my daily life always in stand-by modus”, says the ambitious engineer. “Actually, at the beginning of my career Angela Hofmann helped me a lot in learning how to set plans and strategies in the right way and how to handle the daily changes and updates that are always appearing unexpectedly.”
Since more than 29 years Ibrahim Saad is working with SEKEM now, which means that he could witness the whole progress that SEKEM went through during this time – from a small, nascent project to a successful initiative that is now worldwide known. The other way around, SEKEM accompanied Ibrahim through his personal life. “My youngest son got all his school education in SEKEMs schools, from nursery until high school”, the father of two sons and one daughter tells enthusiastic. Additionally, his eldest son started working as an accountant in SEKEMs company ISIS Organic. “My daughter is also willing to work at SEKEM after finishing her studies”, Ibrahim says. Although the ambitious agricultural manager is an efficient and talented planner, he never interferes in his children’s life decisions. “I wished that my sons would study and work in the agricultural field, so that I could help them with my experience. But I wasn’t disappointed when they decided to learn business and accounting. The most important fact is that I can see them happy and doing what they love.”
The likeable SEKEM co-worker seems to be really in love with SEKEM. Not only his long career is an evidence of his love, also his words are revealing his passion and devotion. Ibrahim Saad: “SEKEM is like a close friend, who supported me through all my life. I got married, raised my children and recently became a grandpa. All this happened when SEKEM was at my side. I am deeply grateful and proud that my growing family and me are part of it.”