Arts & Culture

Open Heart: The Story of an Egyptian Filmmaker Diagnosed with Congenital Heart Defects

Open Heart: The Story of an Egyptian Filmmaker Diagnosed with Congenital Heart Defects


One year ago, 25-year-old Ahmed Deiab was diagnosed with congenital heart defects. Despite undergoing an open heart surgery that involved replacing the aortic valve with a mechanical one, Deiab found out months later that he has to undergo a second surgery.

“Around October 2016, I found out that I have to undergo a second open heart surgery as soon as possible as my mitral valve is failing and my heart is functioning at 60 percent efficiency,” says Deiab.

While Deiab received great support from his family and friends, a sudden sadness struck him several weeks ago while he was at the office where he works as an accountant.

“A few weeks ago I was sitting in my office at work staring at the outside through my window, contemplating about my second operation and recalling the medical complications I experienced after my first operation,” says Deiab.

“My heart began to ache, I was sick to my stomach and I was feeling depressed.”

Deiab quickly snapped out of his mood and decided to film a documentary about what he has been experiencing in order to keep himself busy until the operation.

Having written screenplays and worked as an assistant director on various short films and documentaries, Deiab believed a documentary would allow him to raise awareness of his issue while also possibly connecting with others that are passing through similar circumstances.

“I picthed the idea to my friends, family, and colleagues – they couldn’t be more supportive,” says Deiab on his Indiegogo page.

Deiab, who has already raised $US 3,362, started a crowd funding campaign to fund ‘Open Heart – A Documentary Film’ and to contribute to his surgery.

“Open heart surgeries are expensive and therefore your contributions will be allocated to the partial cost of the surgery and making the documentary,” explains Deiab who is seeking $US 5,000.

Believing in his story and the film’s vision, 36 backers have already donated to the campaign. In a recent update, Deiab explains that because of such a warm reception, they are able to start filming right away.

“I wanted to take a moment to really thank you for the efforts you have made towards this campaign by contributing, sharing, or encouraging people to get involved,” says Deiab.

“Because of you, I have been able to buy the filming equipment. We will start filming right away and will keep you frequently updated. From this point forward, all contributions will be allocated for the cost of my surgery.”

Open Heart will be directed by Deiab and produced by Karim Shabaan, a Cairo-based filmmaker whose first feature film Fi Youm (In a Day) was positively received by critics.

To support Open Heart and Deiab’s surgery, check out the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign by clicking here.

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