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Home / It's Viral / Music group of visually impaired women resume concerts in Egypt

Music group of visually impaired women resume concerts in Egypt

The orchestra, made up entirely of visually-impaired women apart from their conductor, played for a small group, wearing masks and exercising social distancing.

it-s-viral Updated: Sep 27, 2020, 13:19 IST
Reuters | Posted by: Sanya Budhiraja
Reuters | Posted by: Sanya Budhiraja
Cairo
A member of Al-Nour Wal Amal (Light and Hope) chamber orchestra wears a protective mask as she plays during the first concert.
A member of Al-Nour Wal Amal (Light and Hope) chamber orchestra wears a protective mask as she plays during the first concert.(REUTERS)

Egypt’s Al Nour Wal Amal (light and hope) chamber orchestra, a music group of visually-impaired women, has faced many challenges over the decades, yet none was like this year’s pandemic.

After months without playing, the orchestra members resumed rehearsals three weeks ago and held their first concert since the start of the global health crisis on Sunday at the Manasterly Palace in Cairo.

The orchestra, made up entirely of visually-impaired women apart from their conductor, played for a small group, wearing masks and exercising social distancing.

Maestro Mohamed Saad Basha with members of Al-Nour Wal Amal.
Maestro Mohamed Saad Basha with members of Al-Nour Wal Amal. ( REUTERS )

In March, Egypt imposed several restrictions to contain the spread of coronavirus including banning all cultural activities. The orchestra members found this extremely frustrating and missed the fulfilment they get from making music, they said.

“The coronavirus came about, and we all had to stay at home,” said Amal Fikry, deputy director of Al Nour Wal Amal Association, a charity that runs the orchestra.

“The girls were very upset that they had to stay home. They didn’t have their special instruments.” 

Spectators wearing protective masks and keeping social distance listen to the first concert of the members of Al-Nour Wal Amal (Light and Hope).
Spectators wearing protective masks and keeping social distance listen to the first concert of the members of Al-Nour Wal Amal (Light and Hope). ( REUTERS )

Egypt has relaxed coronavirus restrictions recently, which enabled the women to rehearse again, although in smaller groups.

The orchestra currently holds its fourth generation of musicians. They have performed in more than 25 countries, including Austria, Kuwait, the United Kingdom, Spain, Japan and Greece.

The women have special techniques to read and memorize notes. They specialize in Western classical music, as well as modern oriental music.

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