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Redefine Ability: An Egyptian Campaign Changing How We View Ability

January 11, 2017
Behind the scenes of the filming

Earlier this year, Egyptian Paralympian Ibrahim Hamadto made international headlines as he inspired millions across the world with his ability to play table tennis with no arms.

After fulfilling his Paralympic dream, Ibrahim declared that nothing is impossible, even for people with various “physical limitations” or “disabilities”.

“I want to tell everybody that nothing is impossible, and everybody should work hard for what you love and what you think is good for yourself,” said Ibrahim.

Yet, before Ibrahim had achieved his dream, Tamer Shaaban and Deana Shaaban were already inspired.

Over three years ago, my sister and I were inspired by the accomplishments that Paralympians could achieve and began to realize in many cases they were more able than a majority of us,” said Tamer.

When sitting down and talking with them, they shared that view even stronger. They are seemingly ordinary people, who are accomplishing extraordinary things,” continued Tamer.

So we set out on a mission to create a project to shine some light on some of these individuals in hope that we could get people more curious. In every case, unanimously, each of the individuals said the same thing: we are not disabled.”

The result of this mission was Redefine Ability, a short film and campaign that brought together some of Egypt’s top Paralympians and differently abled athletes to share their stories and change the way people in Egypt and across the world viewed them.

Behind the scenes of the filming
Aya Ayman, Egypt’s first and youngest female Paralympic swimmer to have ever competed in the Paralympics, during filming.

Since releasing the Redefine Ability film, it has been viewed by more than 100,000 people in Egypt and elsewhere. However, this is just the start. The website will be sharing various stories and backgrounds of differently abled athletes and bringing these stories to an international audience.

We’re here to change perception and we’re looking to everyone to share your stories of what it means to be able with the world as well,” explains Tamer.

To change perception, we need to do it together. We invite you on the journey to make that change as well. Welcome to the #RedefineAbility movement.”

Check out the Redefine Ability project here. You can also watch the Inclusive Arabic version of the film here and the Inclusive English version here.

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