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The organization SEKEM (Ancient Egyptian: 'vitality from the sun') was founded in 1977 by the Egyptian pharmacologist and social entrepreneur Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish in order to bring about cultural renewal in Egypt on a sustainable basis; Located northeast of Cairo, the organization now includes:

  • biodynamic farms;
  • trading companies for produce and processed foods (Hator and Libra), herbal teas and beauty products (ISIS Organic), medicinal herbs and medicines (ATOS Pharma), and organic cotton products (NatureTex);
  • a medical center;
  • a school based on the principles of Waldorf pedagogy open to pupils from any religious or ethnic background;
  • a community school catering specifically to the needs of children from disadvantaged groups;
  • a nursery
  • a vocational training center;
  • a college (Mahad Adult Education Training Institute) and research center (SEKEM Academy for Applied Art and Sciences);
  • Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development

SEKEM's goals are to "restore and maintain the vitality of the soil and food as well as the biodiversity of nature" through sustainable, organic agriculture and to support social and cultural development in Egypt. Revenue from the trading companies grew from 37 million Egyptian pounds in 2000 to 100 million in 2003. By 2005, the organization had established a network of more than 2,000 farmers and numerous partner organizations in Egypt and began increasingly to seek to extend its "experience and acquired knowledge" to other countries, including India, Palestine, Senegal, Turkey, and - in partnership with the Fountain Foundation - South Africa.