“We are celebrating SEKEMs 40th Anniversary in memory and with feelings of gratitude to the founder Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish. He was not only a father to me but to many other people as well, without whom we wouldn’t be gathering here today,” said Helmy Abouleish at the beginning of the celebration on November 2. “This gathering also emphasizes that Dr. Abouleish is still alive between us by his vision. With his spiritual support, we will further develop SEKEM in the coming years”, SEKEMs CEO added.
As every year in autumn, the feast took place at the Roman theater of the SEKEM Farm. Many SEKEM members came from east and west to celebrate the initiative’s anniversary together: students, farmers, employees, as well as SEKEMs friends and partners from all over the world. For welcoming, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 was played by SEKEMs Orchestra that in this year included musicians from the age of nine until 90. The SEKEM Choir then sang the “Ode to Joy” and enjoyed great applause from the audience.
Furthermore, SEKEMs pupils showed an artistic, yet informative and interactive performance with their teachers and some of SEKEMs co-workers. It did not only highlight the achievements that were accomplished by SEKEMs companies during the past year, but also reflected SEKEMs activities in regard to the four dimensions of sustainable development: Ecology, Economy, Societal and Cultural Life.
This year, the festivities started already one day before the main event, at the recently opened “Space of Culture”. Teachers and students from SEKEM School and Heliopolis University collaborated in presenting an elaborate eurhythmy performance that outlined SEKEMs history under the name “SEKEM Symphony”. The stage production also included poetry, which conveyed Dr. Abouleish’s vision of building a sustainable community in the Egyptian desert and which illustrated the development of SEKEM over the past 40 years.