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Playing by Ear

Goalball may have been designed for the blind, but one group of Brooklyn players proves that the sport is as dangerous, fast-paced and competitive as any you’ll find.

Story by Daphnée Denis & Hoda Emam | June 11, 2013

Ibrahim Shahadat has retinitis pigmentosa, a rare degenerative eye disease, but embraces his blindness as an asset rather than a disability. He is an overachiever who thinks his world would be shattered if he ever saw again. Ibrahim’s positive attitude has helped him become one of the top New York State players of goalball—a Paralympic sport for the visually impaired. As some of his teammates slowly lose their sight to the same culprit, Ibrahim helps them cope with the condition as their world progressively turns dark.

“Playing by Ear” is an abridged excerpt from the upcoming feature documentary “Shot in the Dark”; Shahadat is one of the main characters in the film.

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