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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Daphnée Denis is a French multimedia journalist based in London. Follow her on Twitter @daphneedenis.

As a multimedia journalist Hoda Emam has reported in the U.S. and Middle East. Follow her on Twitter at @Hoda_Emam

“Shot in the Dark,” a documentary film about the sport of goalball in New York by Denis and Emam, is targeted for completion in 2013.