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'Zapping with the Stars' Returns Hope to Lebanese Children with Heart Defects - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Beirut – One more time, the heart of Beirut will beat with music to save 300 Lebanese children born with heart malformation. Seeking to achieve its humanitarian goal to treat children suffering from heart diseases, the Heartbeat Foundation organizes its annual musical event “Zapping with the Stars” at the Biel center in Beirut.

For two consecutive evenings, 22nd and 23rd of April, more than 100 artists including singers, musicians, and dancers participate in the concert.

The event will be preceded by a diner and an auction featuring old antiques and drawings. The auction, aiming to collect donations for children, is expected to host around 1,000 person.

Concerts will include special musical shows to honor late stars like Elvis Presley, Dalida, and Zaki Nassif – in addition to many other currently active stars like Beyoncé. Lebanese talents like Anthony Touma, Manal Mallat, and Ingrid Nakkour will have special appearances during the event. Many doctors and students also volunteered to sing in those evenings to fulfill their promise in helping children suffering from heart conditions.

Heartbeat is a Lebanese association with a mission to treat children with heart diseases. It was founded in 2005 by a group of medical doctors from Hotel-Dieu de France Hospital. After facing difficulties in providing free treatments for many children, the foundation decided to organize an annual musical event that could contribute in saving those little patients who represent 1% (up to 600 Lebanese children) every year.

Concerts’ tickets are sold at all Virgin Megastores branches for $25 up to $100.

The treatment of one child suffering from a heart birth defect costs around $5000. Till this date, Heartbeat secured the treatment for around 2,500 children, who received all kind of procedures including surgeries, catheter processes, and all the required follow-ups and medication.

All cases usually end up with success, however, five percent of the conditions can be complicated, and persist because they require long-term treatments.

Three medical committees are assigned to study the portfolios of children without receiving any information on their identities. The first committee prepares a report on the case, the second assesses the social status of the kid, aiming to give priority to children of families with lower incomes. The third committee is assigned to tackle managerial missions, as it includes doctors who supervise the cases and give the approval to asses the chronic conditions which require immediate treatments.

As per the musical concerts, they are set to include many dancing shows including the Lebanese Caracalla theatre.

The event will also feature visual shows performed by students from the school of medicine, the Saint Joseph University (USJ).

Rim Baltaji, director of production affairs at the foundation said the concerts are expected to attract over 2000 guests. Heartbeat has set different timings to hold its two concerts.

Till today, the foundation didn’t reject any case that it had received, and further seeks with hope to grow its financial capabilities so it can treat more kids suffering from heart diseases.