The vitality of the sun
The word ‘Sekem’ is a translation of an old Egyptian hieroglyph meaning ‘the vitality of the sun’. Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish started the Sekem Initiative in 1977, on a 70 hectares area in the Egyptian desert, 60 km northeast of Cairo. This infertile area was reclaimed using Biodynamic methods, thus laying the foundations for today’s flourishing agricultural economy. Over the years Sekem gradually expanded into a multifaceted agro-industrial group of companies and NGOs, a lively community with its own educational programs and a strong focus on individual growth, equal rights and the continuous sustainable development of Egypt’s ecological, economical, societal and cultural life. In 2003 Sekem and its founder Ibrahim Abouleish won the Right Livelihood Award , also known as the alternative Nobel Prize, for integrating the commercial success with promotion of the social and cultural development of society. At present the SEKEM Initiative in Egypt has already reclaimed and cultivated more than 680 hectares of desert land. A large part of Sekem’s products come from biodynamic certified contract farmers, who grow their crops in fertile areas alongside the Nile. Many of these farmers have been cooperating with Sekem for decades.