Pakistani university students worked magic to their 150-year-old campus into Harry Potter’s Hogwarts.
The students kicked off a festival to celebrate the fictional young wizard Harry Potter.
Many students told AFP that the Government College University in the eastern megacity of Pakistani city, Lahore, has long reminded them of the magical school created by British author J.K. Rowling.
“I can’t believe I’m in Hogwarts, while being in Lahore of all places,” said an excited Raziah Alam, taking part in the festival. “This has been such a fun experience.”
Dressed in costumes from the “Potterverse” including wands and pointed witch and wizard hats, students welcomed visitors to their version of the Hogwarts “Great Hall”, decorated with broomsticks, bats, and even an area to brew potions.
The theme music from the Harry Potter series played in the background as students tried out spells, took photos wearing the famous “Sorting Hat”, and dressed up in Hogwarts uniforms.
“Most of these youngsters grew up at the time when JK Rowling’s work was being presented in the novels and then later on in the films,” Dr. Asghar Zaidi, the university’s vice-chancellor and a “Potterhead” himself told AFP.
Zaidi added that when students come to the campus “they see the architecture, it reminds them of Hogwarts.”
“I think the magic is coming through the inspiration it is bringing about to our other students,” he said proudly.
Titled “The Last Follower and the Resurrection of Voldemort,” the film was made and acted by students and comes with special effects, spells and a gripping storyline.
“We really thought it would be a crazy idea to change the building, put some mountains around it, create some characters that can go with it,” the film’s director and cinematographer Waleed Akram told AFP.
Akram stated that he was pleased with the film’s reception among students.
The festival screened what is believed to be Pakistan’s first fan-made Harry Potter film.
Since the release of the first Harry Potter novel in 1997, the books have found immense popularity all over the world, including in Pakistan.