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Egypt’s all-blind women’s orchestra set to return to stage

By ANA - Aug 29,2020 - Last updated at Aug 29,2020

Egypt’s blind women musicians who make up the Al Nour Wal Amal Chamber Orchestra will return to the stage after nearly five months off due to the COVID-19 pandemic (ANA photo)

CAPE TOWN — Egypt’s all-blind women musicians who make up the Al Nour Wal Amal Chamber Orchestra are preparing for a return concert after nearly five months off due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to a report by Egypt’s Nile FM, the group is training for a performance at the Manasterly Palace on the Nile in Cairo on September 20.

The Al Nour Wal Amal Association is a beneficiary non-profit association founded in 1954 by a group of women volunteers.

According to their website, it was the first non-governmental association in the Middle East to help visually impaired girls and women and provide them with vocational training with the aim of reintegrating them into society.

All music must be memorised since it is impossible to “read” Braille and play an instrument at the same time.

According to Nile FM, while their passion for music drives the musicians, the money they receive from their concerts, both in Egypt and abroad, form the majority of the money they receive in their lives overall.

Many of these women support families and the five months of not performing have weighed heavily on them.  

According to Amal Fikry, the association’s vice-president and head of the orchestra, the musicians receive a nominal salary every month, but the amount represents a third of their needs. They gain the remaining amount through concerts, whether inside or outside Egypt.

According to a report by online news publication Ahram Online, the group has put various precautionary measures in place. Since August 9, the 50-member orchestra has been divided into two groups, each rehearsing once a week. 

Meanwhile, the Junior Orchestra, which consists of 37 young girls, has also returned to practice, also divided into smaller groups.

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