TRAVELLING TO SEKEM
Our connection to SEKEM as a specialised tour operator
SEKEM Reisen was founded thanks to the friendship between Dr Ibrahim Abouleish and Waldorf school teacher Dietmar Kreuer.
I met Dr Abouleish at a conference on world religions in Dornach, Switzerland. At that time I had been teaching world religions at Waldorf schools in Germany, and had myself many questions about Islam. Dr Abouleish suggested speaking about Islam in Egypt, but not simply about Islam itself. He wanted to talk about an Anthroposophical approach to the faith, which was completely new and unique. I found this to be more than just interesting.
The first conference about Islam at the SEKEM farm with Dr Abouleish was held in 1997. Since then, interested and like-minded people have gathered there for conferences on a regular basis, annually during the Easter week. Although in 2011 the conference was postponed for the interim, future events are on the agenda; "Inshallah".
Introduction to SEKEM
SEKEM is inspired by the strong vision and determination of its founder, Dr Ibrahim Abouleish, influenced by Islamic culture and local traditions, and supported by likeminded friends and partners in Europe and around the world. Profits made at SEKEM from the various business initiatives (tourism visits and organic products such as foodstuff, clothing and phytopharmaceuticals) are re-invested in social and cultural projects, and in so doing, leading by example in aspects of economic sustainability, whilst reaching out beyond commercial activity in a pursuit to contribute to "the comprehensive development of Egyptian society".
SEKEM has established initiatives for the community, such as in education, healthcare, and housing. This includes a kindergarten, primary and secondary school (12 grade educational system), education for the disabled, promoting a work-and-education programme for children from poor and underprivileged families, a Medical Care Centre providing modern medical services to the community, and an outreach programme for better hygiene and housing in local villages. In 1999, SEKEM founded its Academy for Applied Art and Science, intended to find better solutions for many everyday problems. Out of these beginnings, SEKEM got the permission by the Egyptian Authorities to establish the Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development in 2009, which started its first courses later in 2012.
Over the years, SEKEM has received global recognition, with many awards and accolades. In 2003, Dr Abouleish was awarded "Entrepreneur of the Year and leading figure" by the Schwab Foundation's "World Economic Forum". Later that same year, he and SEKEM were honoured with the "Right Livelihood Award", presented in the Swedish Parliament with the tribute: "for a business model for the 21st Century in which commercial success is integrated with and promotes the social and cultural development of society through the 'economics-of-love'."
Indeed, SEKEM is not your typical tourist attraction in Egypt or the region, but rather a real-life inspiration for creating a beneficial society on earth. Our appreciation, participation and support of this initiative is what we deem "ethical tourism" to Egypt. Read more about SEKEM
SEKEM and our travel company
In due time, I took over as managing director of SEKEM Reisen, whilst still teaching full scale at my Steiner School. Soon after in 2002, our travel company sent its first tour group on this great journey to SEKEM and Egypt, and ever since has continued to provide this tour-operating and travel service - mainly servicing markets in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, as well as other European countries, namely the Netherlands, Scandinavian countries, the UK, France, Belgium and Spain.
From the very beginning of any vacation we offer to Egypt, a visit to SEKEM ensures the journey is a unique experience. Your visit to Egypt is part of what we call "Ethical Tourism", travelling responsibly and supporting a sustainable and environmentally-friendly project. Indeed, you can take comfort in your vacation knowing that the SEKEM farm has been the starting point for many other ethical and meaningful developments in Egypt, as well as other countries with a similar economy and socio-cultural living conditions in the region and further afield - even as far high as the beautiful Himalayan country of Bhutan.
It's understandable that travellers to SEKEM also long to see much more of Egypt - widely considered to be one of the most wonderful and magical travel destinations in the world, with its rich blend of nature, history, people and culture. Thus, SEKEM Reisen has created special add-on tours to offer more travel options whilst in Egypt. At the same time, doing our best to be flexible and bespoke, taking in individual wishes and choices (concerning alternative dates, special groups and the like) into consideration.
Have fun exploring Egypt, perhaps for the first time, perhaps again - either way, it will certainly be a memorable travel experience, particularly when you combine some of our unique vacations with a tour to SEKEM and the high levels of appreciation, contribution and meaning that comes with it.
Managing Director, SEKEM Reisen
Read more about tour booking information in TRAVEL TERMS & CONDITIONS