Along his career, he passed through ups and downs, hopes and challenges, but there was always something enlightening his way – the belief in his potential. Sobhy Al-Saadany started to work as a cheese producer in SEKEM, 26 years ago, and is now the secretary of SEKEMs CEO Helmy Abouleish.
“I feel a great joy, even when working under stress, because I know I am doing it for a good cause”, Sobhy describes his feelings towards his job. The reliable SEKEM employee owns the position of Helmy Abouleish’s assistant since 1993. He is responsible for setting the CEO’s agenda, welcoming his visitors or monitoring the implementation of previously set plans. “I can do a lot of tasks at the same time, but what I most care about is doing it efficient and in high-quality”, says the longstanding SEKEM co-worker.
From a cheese producer to the assistant of the CEO
In 1988, Sobhy Al-Saadany, who was living in Al-Sharkia governorate where also the SEKEM Farm is located, finished his studies of commerce. He was willing to travel and work abroad. However, one day a friend told him about SEKEM and its mission of a sustainable community. “SEKEM impressed me so much that I decided to stay in my home country”, the 48 years-old SEKEM employee recounts. “I have been always dreaming about living in a well-developed society, which I then found in SEKEM.”
Sobhy started to work in SEKEMs cheese factory for two years. He was responsible for preparing the orders for the local market but also for the export. “Although the factory closed quite a time ago, I like to remember those days when we were only three employees, but working very hard and good together”, the ambitious co-worker reveals.
Afterwards, the SEKEM co-worker moved to work in the company ISIS Organic were he mainly took care of the machineries. SEKEMs most successful company for Organic food and beverages was back then a small factory with only two tea packaging machines and another six co-workers. When Sobhy decided to move to Cairo with his family, wife and two children, in 1992, he started to work in SEKEMs product stores next to the Head Office at the outskirts of Egypt’s capital.
“I like the feeling when going home tired of the many tasks I did at work. I feel very satisfied because, I know I did something important for a good cause.”
Sobhy Al-Saadany still remembers the early beginnings of technology in SEKEM, when the internet had not been used yet. “We were using faxes for receiving the orders. Sometimes I had to stay at night, waiting for a fax of an export order”, he says smilingly. In one of these nights he met Helmy Abouleish who used to work till late at night as well. The SEKEM-CEO was very impressed by Sobhy’s commitment and asked him to support him as his personal assistant.
Believing in the development of people
Within this successful career, Sobhy’s family has been growing too. He is now a father of a daughter and four sons. Omar, his eldest son is studying in the second year at the Business Department of Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development. “After his graduation he is willing to work with SEKEM too”, Sobhy states proudly.
“I like the feeling when going home tired of the many tasks I did at work. I feel very satisfied, because I know I did something important for a good cause.” Sobhy deeply believes in SEKEM and its people. As he developed, he believes in the development of all people: “People should believe in themselves and be eager to work and to learn, then everything is possible”, says the former cheese producer who is today known all over SEKEM as the right hand of Helmy Abouleish.