Our story begins in 1954, when Nežka Šepec, under Yugoslavia at that time, went to Guinea to help as a doctor. She later received a job in the French OCP and, as a doctor and obstetrician, went to Morocco, where she meet her husband Bouchaib El Khiar.
In 1967 a son Hakim was born to them. Their lives were already high above the average of ordinary Moroccan family since they owned several properties and their own driving school with 14 cars and 3 trucks. They lived on a large farm and had horses, sheep, cows, hens, as well as olive and eucalyptus plantations.
The farm, which covers 100 ha, lies a few kilometres away of a small town called Khouribga, on the northwest of Morocco. Father Bouchaib planted cacti around the farm for the border, as the foxes and rabbits were hiding in them and he loved to catch them, as he was a hunter. Every year cactus plants were fully covered with colourful and healthy fruits, which the locals call Karmouss.
Little Hakim enjoyed immensely at the farm in the higher standard of living that his parents enabled him. Already as a small child, he drove cars, walked with his father for hunting, and in addition to Arabic, he attended French school too, when in 1974 his mother Nežka suddenly decided to take him back to Slovenia, where he was supposed to be educated.
That same year in 1974, at the other side of Slovenia, a little girl named Petra was born to Slovenian parents Anna and Anton.
Mom Nežka occasionally still goes to Morocco to visit her husband Bouchaib, while little Hakim slowly grows up. Over some time, the contacts inside a beautiful family were slowly completely finished.
Until 2008, when Hakim and Petra meet, they fall in love at first glance and get married. Hakim was taken very nicely into the family, which only increases the disguised sadness in him that he has not had a family for years. Therefore, Petra decides to take him back to Morocco.
Morocco, October 2008:
“We did not know what to expect, but our journey turned into something wonderful, though emotionally very hard. There were so many oppressed but beautiful memories coming out all the time. A small piece of paper with his uncle’;s address in Casablanca from 35 years ago, given to us by
Hakim’s mother, was the only hope that our search in a millionth city could begin. And it did. We did not find anybody living at the address, but Hakim`s father and mother past reputation and our last name El Khiar was still so strong for so many years that completely unfamiliar people could help us
find his family. There were so many joys and happy people in one place… but his father was not among them. His life ended a few years earlier. We missed him! I saw a deep sadness in Hakim’s eyes and a big anger! Suddenly I was no longer convinced that it was right to take him to Morocco. By the time the family drove us to a farm where Hakim lived with his father and mother. As if somebody moved him back in THAT time! As if his bones were not quite a few years older! He began to climb walls, run down the farm up and down, even found his mother’s medical accessory in the abandoned house, on the wall there was still a butterfly that he made as a kid and even the toys that he played with years ago! Yes, it was worth it!”
There are no more animals on the farm today, but it is still full of 5+ meters high cactus shovels, where each year tons and tons of colourful fruits of a size of kiwi grows, which have a great effect on health. Nobody has ever produced oil of their seeds in the past. Recently, when we met with this precious oil in America, we were aware that we had a very nice opportunity to use our over 50-year old cactuses, planted by father Bouchaib, to produce valuable, completely natural and 100% pure oil from cactus seeds. With help of our Moroccan family, we have become one of the few or even the only producers of own cactus oil, with complete control of production from the cactus plant to the final product – KARMOUSS cactus oil.