One thought on “Orly Shamir”

  1. I met Orly at a personal development workshop called Unblinded that we were attending in January of 2020. I was there to learn and grow. So was Orly, but she was also volunteering to assist with food and lodging which was provided by the conference organizers for approximately 40 blind and visually impaired people who requested help with accommodations for the event. Since that time, Orly has become an important and valued friend. During our first conversation, she shared her story—how her family emigrated from Israel to Canada where she was born, growing up in Canada and then immigrating to the United States. She told her story of attending and then graduating from culinary school as a blind person, shared her beliefs about the healing properties of healthy food and how she is using her love of healthy food and cooking to empower people to transform their lives of addiction into lives of personal power and joy. Orly also shared her dream of having her own cooking show—an amazing accomplishment for anyone, and doubly so for a person who is blind. More recently, during the Covid-19 pandemic, Orly has been reaching out to friends and family, collecting recipes that she is sharing with people who cannot leave their homes but who still want to enjoy the blessings of health, good food and friendship. I have had a long association with the organized blindness community and with organizations like the San Francisco Lighthouse and the awards we give to people for their accomplishments. Very often, awards like the Holman Prize go to people who invent new technologies or who fight for the rights of blind people, and these are all wonderful reasons to give awards. Orly is deserving in a different way, but no less so. She is deserving because she has built a personal dream of beauty and empowerment, and she is using her dream to benefit the lives of many others—some blind, some not, but all in need of her love, care and yes, cooking. Her website is called “Nourished by Light,” and this is a perfect name because in Hebrew, her name means “light.” Orly is bringing light, and as a Holman Prize winner, she will be able to bring more light, much needed light, to many more people.

    Ron Brooks
    Blind and disability community advocate
    Vice-President – Transit Market Development
    American Logistics
    Phoenix, Arizona

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