Art Alert: Al-Nour Wal Amal Chamber Orchestra to play at AUC

Ahram Online , Monday 9 Mar 2015

Consisting entirely of blind Egyptian female musicians, Al-Nour Wal Amal (Light and Hope) Chamber Orchestra will give a concert at the American University in Cairo on 11 March

Al Nour Wal Amal Chamber Orchestra
Al Nour Wal Amal Chamber Orchestra at the Laeiszhalle, Germany, October 2013 (Photo: Ati Metwaly)

Al-Nour Wal Amal Chamber Orchestra is an ensemble consisting of blind and visually impaired girls and young women, operating under the umbrella of an association with the same name.

Throughout the past decades, the orchestra has gained several new members and is often accompanied by a choir formed within the same association.

The orchestra plays across many venues in Egypt and it has also toured the world, performing in over 20 countries to wide acclaim from audiences and critics alike. They have been described as “a human miracle,” “the fourth pyramid on the Giza plateau,” and “an orchestra with no peer in the world.”

Al-Nour Wal Amal association is an NGO for Egyptian blind girls, founded in 1954 by a group of volunteers led by the late Istiklal Radi, with the aim of educating the visually impaired girls and helping them integrate into society. The association provides care, free education, boarding facilities and vocational training for these women in order to develop their potential. Apart from the headquarters in Heliopolis and another branch in Nasr City, the association now also has branches in Mansoura, Tanta, Port Said, Beni Suef, and Assuit.

In 1961, seven years after the establishment of the association, Al-Nour Wal Amal Music Institute was founded by the late Samha El-Kholy, former dean of the Cairo Conservatory. Music curricula implemented in the association paralleled regular educational activities. The institute later gave birth to the now internationally applauded Al-Nour Wal Amal Chamber Orchestra, now with three generations of musicians.

Wednesday, 11 March at 8pm
Ewart Hall, American University in Cairo, Downtown, Cairo

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