Sekem: A Sustainable Community in the Egyptian Desert

Sekem: A Sustainable Community in the Egyptian Desert

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The Egyptian desert can be a hostile place, yet in 1977, Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish founded a new agricultural and social settlement on seventy hectares of desert land in Belbes, 60 kilometers northeast of Cairo. Thus, the Sekem initiative was born.

Dr. Abouleish's goal was to build a new type of community. His vision was for a farm that grows biodynamic crops and plants out of the harsh desert sand. And a community in which workers and residents were all given holistic primary health care and where their children would be well-educated in the sciences. This was to become place that could sell its produce and become self-sufficient and self-sustaining. Ultimately, this would be a place where Islam and Western technology could come together in harmony.

Nearly thirty years later, Sekem has only grown stronger. In 1981, the people of this community shipped their first medicinal herbs to the U.S., and by 2004, they oversaw a network of more than 800 farms in Egypt and the Sudan, producing high quality organic crops, herbs, fruits, and vegetables. The community's mobile health units work with local rural populations, and real social change has been the results of its efforts

This is the story of Sekem—the original vision, the challenges and hard work, and the eventual successes—in Ibrahim Abouleish's own words.

Stunningly illustrated with colour photographs throughout.