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Egyptian Al Nour Wal Amal Orchestra Consists of Only Blind and Visually-Impaired Women

The orchestra, with a name that means ‘light and hope’ in Arabic, is a chamber ensemble of 44 women, established in 1971.

The Al Nour Wal Amal orchestra in Egypt, only for blind and visually-impaired women, is captivating audiences, Classic FM reports.

The orchestra, with a name that means 'light and hope' in Arabic, is a chamber ensemble of 44 women, established in 1971. The group plays Western classical music, as well as Eastern melodies.

The women have learned to play the music without reading or seeing the conductor, through special memorising techniques and hours of practice.

"With this orchestra, I've been able to change the Egyptian and world view towards the physically challenged," said Shaymaa Hussein, who leads the orchestra. "I told the world that despite losing my sight, I'm a distinguished musician."

The orchestra is part of an NGO (non-government organisation) set up by a group of volunteers to give blind women educational opportunities and professional training.

The women perform monthly concerts in Cairo, as well as once a year outside Egypt, in countries from Austria and Spain to the UK and Kuwait.

Read more on Classic FM.

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