Mrs. Amal Fikry started social and humanitarian work over fifty years ago out of her passion for serving marginalized and less privileged people, as well as her belief that each person is capable of participating in the development and progress of his/her society. She also believes that every
human being deserves to lead a life that preserves his/her human dignity. Therefore, to satisfy such passion and fulfill her dream of serving marginalized and less privileged people, Mrs. Amal Fikry joined Al Nour Wal Amal (Light and Hope Association) in 1969 as a volunteer. In 1971, she was elected as member of the Board of Directors and was placed in charge of the external and foreign affairs of the Association due to her good relations with prominent public figures and multilingual skills. Up to date, Mrs. Fikry is providing the Association with her services, diligent support, and continuous generosity.
As soon as Mrs. Fikry was appointed as Head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Association, she introduced the Association to Arab and foreign diplomats who expressed their admiration and appreciation of its activities for taking care of Egyptian blind females (high school – rehabilitation – music institute). She also invited and encouraged the foreign embassies and missions to participate in the Association’s annual charity bazaar, which constitutes a main source of income for the Association.
Mrs. Fikry also exerted great efforts in organizing and coordinating visits of the official delegations visiting Egypt to visit the Association. Among the most important visits we name the visit of the Empress of Iran “Farah Diba,” the Wife of Sheikh Zayed, the President of the United Arab Emirates, the American First Lady Barbara Bush, the Queen of Holland, and wives of many other presidents and kings, and famous foreign and Egyptian personalities, such as the world renowned celebrities Shirley Temple Black, Pearl Bailey, the famous Egyptian singer Om Kalthoum, the star of the Egyptian cinema, Faten Hamama and others.
Upon joining the Association, Mrs. Amal Fikry also started a fund raising campaign for the Association to provide the musicians with music instruments of higher quality, which were then purchased from England and Germany. Among the most important donors in that campaign was the Begum Om Habiba Agha Khan.
It is also due to Mrs. Fikry’s efforts and diligence that a piece of land in Nasr City, Cairo, was allocated to the Association in the early 1990s, to enable the Association to expand and undertake new activities.
Further, Mrs. Fikry, together with another member of the Association, exerted great efforts until the Association obtained in 1997 the advisory status to the UN Economic and Social Council “ECOSOC” – “Second Class” for NGOs.
Mrs. Fikry strongly believes that civilization and development of nations depend on their care and concern for their citizens, particularly those with special needs, and their endeavours to provide them with good living standards and to integrate them in the society. Therefore, in 1988, Mrs. Amal Fikry embarked on realizing the dream of Mrs. Istiklal Radi, the founder of the Association, and arranged, through her social good connections, for the musicians of the second generation of the Chamber Orchestra to be invited to travel to perform in Vienna, as their first trip abroad. She also worked on obtaining the financing required for the trip and organized it. Mrs. Fikry continues to provide her services to the Association with the aim of receiving invitations for the Orchestra to travel and assist it in gaining more and more international fame and recognition, and in order to shed light worldwide on the artistic capabilities and unique talents of the Egyptian youth, persons with disabilities and Egyptian women, while proving that each individual in the society is capable of participation and contribution to its development, as well as praising the spirit of challenge which the Egyptian youth enjoy, in addition to emphasizing Egypt’s interest in civilization, culture and arts throughout the years.
Since 1988, Mrs. Fikry has been presiding over the Music Institute, which represents the most prominent activity of the Association on the local and foreign levels and in both the Arab and western world. This is simply because the Chamber Orchestra of the Music Institute of Al Nour Wal Amal is the only Chamber Orchestra in the world composed entirely of blind musicians that play music without the need for reading music score written in Braille and without the guidance of the conductor’s famous baton. The Chamber Orchestra currently includes fifty talented blind women and girls who play both classic and modern oriental music. Mrs. Fikry also formed the Junior Chamber Orchestra, which is composed of 25 school pupils and university students, to ensure the survival of this artistic phenomenon. Now, Mrs. Fikry is working on the formation of a children’s orchestra, composed of elementary grade pupils, to follow the successful path of the former generations of musicians of Al Nour Wal Amal Chamber Orchestra.
It was within this context that Mrs. Fikry succeeded in obtaining invitations and organized more than 32 trips abroad for the Orchestra and its members’ companions (approximately 60 persons), after successfully arranging the required financing, which included two trips to Austria in 1988 and 1989, as well as the following trips: Jordan in 1989, Kuwait, England and Sweden in 1990, Germany and Spain in 1992, Qatar in 1993, Morocco, Japan and Thailand in 1994, the United Arab Emirates in 1995, Canada in 1998, Germany in 1999, Greece in 2005 and in 2006, the United Arab Emirates in 2007, Australia, Qatar, Switzerland and France (UNESCO) in 2008, Greece and France (Coupvrey) in 2009, India in 2010, Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovenia in 2011, France (Segre), Malta, Belgium and Austria in 2012, Germany in 2013, Switzerland and France in 2015, Honk Kong and China in 2017, and Serbia in 2019. The Chamber Orchestra was greatly admired and appreciated in all these countries for its performances. Dignitaries were quoted as saying “The Orchestra is the fourth pyramid on the Giza Plateau,” “They represent a human Miracle,” and “The Orchestra brought music to Vienna.” Over the years, Mrs. Fikry was honored for her social contributions and humanitarian work, for example, following the 1992 earthquake in Egypt, which gave rise to many fatalities of citizens and caused the collapse of many houses, she made continuous efforts to mitigate the impacts of the earthquake on people and helped them in many ways. Such humanitarian deeds were appreciated by the Red Crescent Organization, which presented Mrs. Fikry with a Certificate of Honor and Appreciation. Mrs. Fikry received much appreciation and numerous certificates of gratitude from Egyptian and foreign governmental and non-governmental organizations for her constant efforts and achievements, and for devotion and dedication to community service and humanitarian work. The most recent of such appreciations were from the National Council for Women of Egypt which honored her in March 2016 in gratitude for her role in supporting Egyptian women, in April 2016, she was also honored by Quest Company for her role in supporting tourism in Egypt, in January 2017, by the Patriarcat Grec-Melkite Catholique for her contributions to social and humanitarian achievements and for the development of persons according to talents, in March 2017, by Soft Power Productions, for her dedication to music and encouraging talents of marginalized and less privileged people, and in appreciation of her efforts as an inspiring figure and role model for those
interested in social and humanitarian work. Further, in March 2018, President Abdel Fatah El Sisi honored Mrs. Fikry and awarded her the Certificate of Appreciation as a role model of an Egyptian woman pioneering in the field of social and humanitarian work, and for her care, devotion and dedication to Al Nour Wal Amal Chamber Orchestra.