Al Nour Wal Amal Orchestra (Egypt)

The one-of-a-kind orchestra in Egypt and the Middle East. Al Nour Wal Amal orchestra is one of the world’s most remarkable musical ensembles. It consists of around 48 blind women from Cairo who have to rely solely on their memory when performing complicated compositions by classic composers like Mozart, Brahms, Strauss or Tchaikovsky.

Founded in 1954, the Al Nour wal Amal Association became the first non-governmental association in the Middle East to help visually impaired girls and women. To this day, it provides them with care, education, vocational training, job opportunities and works to ease their integration into society. One of its most incredible achievements has been to put together a classical music orchestra made up exclusively of completely blind or severely visually impaired women, in the 1960s. The ensemble started out with 15 members, but over the years, it has grown into a 48-strong group.

Over the past decades the orchestra has been a shining light of Egypt’s musical firmament. With performances in five continents on over 30 international tours and hundreds of concerts inside Egypt, the orchestra wins the hearts of listeners while the international media describes them as “the fourth pyramid of Giza” and “a human miracle.”