Al Nour Wal Amal Orchestra performing in Malta, May 2012 (Photo: courtesy Al Nour Wal Amal Association)
For almost four decades, Al Nour Wal Amal orchestra, an ensemble consisting of visually impaired girls, has performed in Egypt and across the world, including Europe and Asia.
On 8 October, they will perform at Berlin's Urania Theatre, followed by a concert at Hamburg's Laeiszhalle on 11 October.
This is the orchestra's third trip to Germany. In 1992, shortly after the orchestra began their international appearances (1988), the girls performed in a small city near Bonn, then Darmstadt and Berlin. In 1999, they gave a concert in Munich and at the Music Academy in Berlin.
The orchestra was created as an initiative by Istiklal Radi, the first director of the Al Nour Wal Amal Association, an institution founded in the 1950s and dedicated to educating visually impaired girls.
In the 1960s, music education was launched at the Al Nour Wal Amal Music Institute which operates in the afternoons as an extra-curricular activity for the association's students who are gifted in music.
The late Samha Khouli, president of the Academy of Arts and dean of the Cairo Conservatory, provided the association with an academic basis for the training of professional musicians.
For two decades, the orchestra was trained and conducted by the late Ahmed Abul-Eid. Today, it is under the artistic supervision of Ines Abdel-Dayem, chairperson of the Cairo Opera House, and conducted and trained by Aly Osman.