At work, she never arrives with a grumpy face. Her colleagues know that she always smiles, also when being exhausted, stressed or overloaded at work. “I have to smile at everyone entering my office,” says Rania Abdelaziem. “SEKEM is well-known for its smiling and good-spirited people,” adds the Planning Manager at SEKEMs company Lotus.
“I would like to travel to Madrid someday,” Rania Abdelaziem.
She joined Lotus when she was 21 years old – right after graduating from university. “I was obsessed with the Spanish language and its pronunciation, also with the movies,” says the 29 years old, who studied Spanish at the Egyptian Ain Shams University in Cairo. She used to watch the Spanish-language telenovela Desert lovers; she liked the way the actors talked and dressed. “I would like to travel to Madrid someday,” the supporter of the Real Madrid football team continues.
A SEKEM family
One of Rania’s relatives was already working as an engineer at Lotus and was the one who brought her to SEKEM. That was eight years ago. Since then, Rania is a fundamental part of Lotus. The motivated SEKEM co-worker started to work as a secretary and was a part of the procurement section at the same time for four years. She then was responsible for planning the agricultural production of the internal and external farms at the Agricultural Section for three years.
“Every morning we leave our home together and go to our second home – SEKEM,” Rania Abdelaziem.
Nowadays, she is planning the production, following up on the purchasing operations and handling the local customer service. When one of Lotus’ clients needs one ton of processed anise, for instance, Rania calculates how much raw material of anise is needed. For the local customer service, she is in close contact with Salma Sabry from ISIS Organic. When ISIS clients send Salma Sabry their inquiries and requirements in regards to raw materials, she asks Rania to take over. “Our clients also send us a lot of thank you messages for our commitment as well as for the good quality products,” Rania says with a pleased smile on her face.
Together with her husband and her two daughters, Rania lives in Belbeis, very close to the SEKEM farm. “In Belbeis, everbody knows SEKEM,” Rania knows. Her husband also works for SEKEM and her youngest daughter who is 3 years old, is in SEKEMs Nursery. “Every morning we leave our home together and go to our second home – SEKEM. It feels more like going on trip than going to work,” the longtime SEKEM co-worker explains. “I wish that my daughters will pick up a lot from SEKEMs holistic approach – especially how to be confident,” she adds.
“I would be a role model for all the ladies out there,” Rania Abdelaziem.
The only female employee in planning
Rania is keen on climbing the career ladder as well as on developing herself. “I am the only female working in the planning and procurement department. I wish to be the one in charge of the whole procurement department and to be the first female employee in such a leading position,” Rania states. “I would be a role model for all the ladies out there.”
For her, Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish is a role model, too. “He teaches us to question and to develop ourselves,“ Rania says. Every week, she can’t wait to attend the Saturday meetings which the SEKEM founder moderates. “At the meetings, I learn a lot. Later, I can apply my knowledge with my family and neighbors at home,” Rania concludes.
A future wish
Rania would be happy if the whole Egypt would become like the SEKEM Initiative. “I wish for all people to eat healthy food and to live in safe and healthy places like SEKEM farm is one: free of air pollution and harmful fumes.”