By Nouran Maamoun
If you are a Harry Potter fan living in Egypt, you will almost certainly have heard about the Harry Potter Experience organised by the Patient Support Team (PST). Last Saturday, hundreds of witches and wizards got together in a Harry Potter-themed day full of magic, games, and fun.
The preparation for this event started weeks ago, and in order to attend, people had to take a special Harry Potter quiz that tests their knowledge of the popular books and films. Just answering the quiz was fun in itself.
“More than 1,300 people applied and answered the quiz, of which 600 were accepted,” said Farah Shalaby, a PST member.
The event was full of Harry Potter themed activities, from a Horcrux hunt, to Quidditch games, spell duels, a Sorting Hat, and even the famous butter beer drinks. Attendees were also excited about being able to purchase Harry Potter merchandise, namely notebooks, mugs, pins, wands, shirts, and accessories.
Professor Trelawney left her Divination class at the North Tower of Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry to attend the event. She used her famous dark fortune telling skills to amuse, and sometimes terrorise, young witches and wizards.
Attendees could also get very cool removable tattoos, whether they were the Deathly Hallows sign, the famous Harry Potter glasses and scar, or the dark mark of the Death Eaters. The PST members were extremely helpful, and their efforts were very much on show and very much appreciated.
The attention to detail and the air of magic was the first thing to strike attendees at the event. The invitation letters were almost identical to the Hogwarts acceptance letters; the bathroom mirrors had messages from the heir of Slytherin; everyone was also in character, and the costumes were very accurate.
Some attendees however had higher expectations for the event, and thought it could have been better executed. But above all, it was a day where all the Potter heads got to meet each other and friendships sprung up in a blink of an eye.
This event was organised by the PST, which is a philanthropic activity by students at medical school, who decided that in their seven years in college, they can do much to help their community. They decided that they do not have to wait until graduation to start helping patients, and started offering guidance and help right away.
According to Shalaby, these young undergraduate doctors realised that patients at the Qasr Al-Eini Hospital are often at a loss regarding procedures; where to go, and what to do.
“Patients’ conditions are terrible, and we can help,” said Shalaby. And so, the PST members take shifts to provide assistance to the patients from the hospital doors until they leave. They show them where to start and give them all the guidance they need, from getting tickets to reading and understanding prescriptions.
A short while after the PST started, they began to see cases of disadvantaged patients who struggle to pay even for the hospital ticket, so they started helping the patients financially on a small scale, which then grew larger and larger.
“Donors can adopt a certain case and pay for that patient’s treatment or medicine,” Shalaby said. “We aim to improve healthcare conditions in Egypt. Patients don’t have to be rich to get proper medical care.”
The PST then started raising money to renovate conditions at the hospital and buy some new equipment for the sake of the patients.
The method of fundraising for the aid and supplies the PST provides for patients was mostly through small events. However, the Harry Potter Experience event was a whole new level, as it got much attention, and people were glad to help with charity and have fun at a remarkable event. The organisers hope to make the event an annual event.