Sunday, September 23, 2012

"The Alchemist," by Paulo Coelho

Hey everybody!
So, today I'm going to write, as denoted by the post title, about a book called "The Alchemist" by the superb Brazilian author Paulo Coelho.
As my sister and I used to say to each other often, thank you, Captain Obvious. ^_-

Anyways, I found this book very much by chance: back in July, when I was on vacation in North Carolina with my dad's family, we were in a bookstore, and I happened across this book. I skimmed over the summary on the back, and caught the words "Egypt," "pyramids," and "personal journey."
Needless to say, I knew what I was going to buy that day. :) 
And, I'm not going to write too much about the plot, because I HATE giving away good books to people, and hate it when people do it to me. 
But, I'll talk about some of the very basic things:
The book takes place in the Middle Ages. It's not said outright, but it's definitely implied in the story. The main character is a young Spanish shepherd named Santiago who, on a whim, after meeting a man who claims to be a king that tells him about the importance of following his "personal journey," sets out to find a treasure located near the Pyramids of Giza.
I really loved the book - the story, the way it was written, the characters, just everything overall.
And I felt like I could really connect with Santiago, because of his personal journey to Egypt, plus the fact that he visits real places there and even befriends a girl named Fatma! :)
The book talked a lot about the importance of realizing one's personal journey, and listening to one's heart, as well as paying attention to the omens around us. Also the idea of beginner's luck - that when someone wants to fulfill their personal journey, the whole universe conspires in their favor.
In some ways, I feel like my personal journey, or at the very least part of it, is probably my experience here in Egypt. I'm happy that I've listened to my heart, and not only chosen to set off on the grand exchange student experience, but also chosen the country that I love. :)
Another thing I really like is that talks about a "language of the world" that everyone can understand. I like this, because I can relate to it a lot, since I've shared a lot of laughs and a lot of memories with people that couldn't speak my language, and I couldn't speak theirs (well). 
Long story short, I thought that it was amazing. I loved it very much and would highly recommend it. Try it, you'll like it!
Since Portuguese is one of the MANY languages I'd like to some day learn, perhaps someday I will be able to read the original version of the book - inshallah.
For now, I'm focusing on 'Araby Masry (Egyptian Arabic).

That's all.
Ma' as-salama!

the English version - the one I read, obviously 
Paulo Coelho!

Loay's Arabic copy :D

O original :)


  1. Hey Nico, i love following you on blogger :)we really have to meet when i come to alex!!
    ....about god books: before i went to egypt i read the ..i dont know how its called in english...'triology of Cairo' by Nagib Machfus. i think you should try it!;)

  2. Thanks so much :D
    we should!! I can't wait :)
    I've heard of that, but I didn't get to read it before I left home. I will try though, thanks :D