The Illustrated Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream

ISBN: 006019250X
ISBN 13: 9780060192501
By: Paulo Coelho Alan R. Clarke Mœbius

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About this book

Every few decades a book is published that changes the lives of its readers forever. Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist is such a book With over a million and a half copies sold in Latin America and Europe, The Alchemist has already achieved the status of a modern classic. Now this charming fable has been translated into English to enchant and inspire an even wider audience for years to come. Here is the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the markets of Tangiers into the Egyptian desert where a fateful encounter with the alchemist awaits him. This is a story that teaches us, as only few stories can, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life's path and, above, all follow our dreams."Paulo Coelho... has attained the technical levels of a Saint-Exupery or a Richard Bach." - Folha da Sao PauloPAULO COELHO, the author of five bestsellers, lives in Rio de Janiero.

Reader's Thoughts

Joyzi

SPOILER ALERT!This book is very inspiring and what I really need right now to motivate myself with my everyday endeavors. In the end the boy in the story who was searching for his treasure, despite the long travels and experiences, find his treasure not in the place where he suspected it to be, but in the place where he came from. It's just pretty ironic that what have you looking for is in the end is just beside you right from the beginning. It's just that what he learned and discovered from his travel is another treasure that he should realize in order to appreciate himself and the things around him.A very inspiring and positive book, it actually gives me hope that the things that I aspire for will in the end I would achieve if only I strive hard and don't lose hope until I get it. Sometimes the detours and the problems that we face now were later on in our life will make sense and when you remember that moment especially if you had overcome it you will know that you are thankful for that to happen because in the end you would learn something from it.

Christopher

I really disliked this book. I dislike it in the way that I dislike a great deal of modern self help books. Their basic message is that if you want something to happen, you need to want it as hard as you can, without caring about anything else, not allowing yourself to doubt it, or let criticisms will get in the way then it will happen.I disagree with this notion, not only because it is false, but because it is bad.Just because we desire something, does not make it good. This idea of 'following your heart' is often wrong. Who are we to be the arbiters of truth? Why should our hearts be sources of information that go beyond logic, doubt and reasoning? Haven't we all desired things that have turned out to not be in our best interest, or to be harmful to others? Andrew Jackson was a man known to have a lot of integrity. He was always 'true' to himself and followed his heart. Andrew Jackson is the man who initiated the 'Trail of Tears'. Moving Native Americans from their homes and into reservations. Next, this idea of not letting ourselves doubt or consider doubts. This is a terrible and dishonest way to live. If we don't consider doubts, and entertain them often, then we are deliberately blinding ourselves. Deliberately making ourselves ignorant. If someone doesn't give serious consideration to the idea that they may be wrong. Give serious thought to why they believe what they do, and that perhaps those who doubt them may be correct, then they are behaving in a dangerous and dishonest way.Not giving heed to the concerns doubts and criticisms of others is something I believe is a major fault in modern society. Often, people fail to recognize the needs of the group and the community. We place so much emphasis on the needs and rights of the individual. This causes people to focus so much on themselves to the detriment of others around them. At times, it can be beneficial to go against the group, but one should first give serious consideration to the groups concerns.According to Ideas like the Alchemist, groups like, the Westboro Baptist Church,(godhatesfags.com) should be seen as American heroes. These are people who take a totally irrational stance, and stick to it as hard as they can in complete defiance to the views of everyone around them.

Marmor Owais

عندما تكون كنوزنا قريبة جدا منّا،فاننا لا نلاحظها أبدا،أتعلم لماذا؟ لأن الناس لا يؤمنون بالكنوز ...رواية مشوقة جدافيها حكم كتير

ياسمين ثابت

“هناك على الدوام شخصا ما في العالم ينتظر شخصا اخر , سواء أكان ذلك في وسط الصحراء , أم في أعماق المدن الكبرى. وعندما يلتقي ذلك الشخصان , وتتعانق نظراتهما , يغدو الماضي والمستقبل بلا أهمية , إذ لا وجود إلا لهذه اللحظة الراهنة , ولهذا اليقين, الذي لا يمكن إدراكه , بأن كل شيء تحت قبة السماء , قد كتب باليد ذاتها, اليد التي تلد الحب, والتي خلقت توأما لروح كل كائن يعمل , أو يرتاح , أو يبحث عن الكنوز تحت نور الشمس. وإذا لم يكن الأمر كذلك, فإن أحلام الجنس البشري تغدو بلا معنى.” ما اجمل هذه االسطورفي هذه الحالة الروحانية التي انا فيها بعد انتهائي من قراءة رواية الخيميائي يصعب علي حقا ان انتزع من قلبي الكلمات التي قد تستطيع ان تصف حالهاللغة الكونية الساحرة ....العلامات....القدر...الاسطورة الشخصية....وهذه الجملة الرائعة التي توقفت عندها طويلا جدا:“إن كل شخص على الأرض يلعب الدور الرئيس في سيرة العالم وهو لا يدري” االجو الشرقي في الرواية...العرب...الاندلس...مصر الاهرمات...لغة الصحراء ومفرداتها....ماهذه الرواية؟؟اعترف اني لم اكن متحمسة لها في البداية وفي نصفها الاول شعرت انها جيدة لكن ليست ممتازة بالقدر الذي سبب شهرتها تلك....ولكني كنت مخطئة فان هذه الرواية تجربة لا بد ان يمر بها كل انسان لابد ان يقراها ويعيش فيها ليفسح لروحه مجالا اكبر ويتعرف اكثر على روعة الكون...بل ويدرك ان اسلامنا كان مكتوبا بحروف اخرى في هذه الرواية المذهلة من رجل اجنبي يدعى باولو كويلوشعرت بالسحر برغم الترجمة الضعيفة للرواية وانخرطت باكملي ر وحا وقلبا وعقلا داخل عالمها حتى وجدت النهاية ما اجمل تلك النهاية حين يحفر فلا يجد الكنز ويلقاه ذاك اللص الذي يبوح له بمكان الكنز في حلمه بكل بساطة فيبتسم البطل وتبتسم له الاهراماتمن اجمل تلك النهاية الساحرة حقا اني عاجزة عن كتابة ريفيو يفي هذه الرواية حقهاولكني انصح الجميع بقراءتها بعض الاسطر الرائعة في الرواية:“أصغ إلى قلبك فهو يعرف كل شيء لأنه آت من روح العالم وسيرتد إليها ذات يوم” “عندما تكون كنوزنا قريبة جداً منا، فإننا لا نلاحظها أبداً، أتعلم لماذا؟ لأن الناس لا يؤمنون بالكنوز ” “هناك على الدوام شخصًا ما في العالم ينتظر شخصًا آخر، سواء أكان ذلك في وسط الصحراء ام في اعماق المدن الكبرى” “لا تقل شيئاً، إننا نحب لأننا نحب، لا يوجد سبب آخر كي نحب” “ما يحدث مرة يمكن ألا يحدث ثانيةً أبداً، لكن ما يحدث مرتين يحدث بالتأكيد مرة ثالثة.” قل لقلبك إن الخوف من العذاب أسوء من العذاب نفسه ، وليس هناك من قلب يتعذب عندما يتبع أحلامه ، لأن كل لحظة من البحث هي لحظة لقاء مع الله والخلود .”

Michelle

** spoiler alert ** While this book made some points that I agreed with (all things in the universe are one; a person is happiest when living in the present moment, rather than the past or future; even things that seem like detours in your quest toward achieving your goals can be rich opportunities for learning) I just couldn't buy a lot of it. For instance, I disagreed with the idea that your experience along the way shouldn't cause you to change your basic course. What's accumulated wisdom and experience for, if not to cause us to live differently (often with very different goals, aspirations, and fundamental beliefs) than we did when we were younger?I also couldn't buy the notion that your "Personal Legend" is made manifest to you in no uncertain terms when you are a child and you should never deviate from it. I dreamed of doing a hundred different things at various times during my childhood. More than one of those aspirations (psychiatrist, teacher, stay-at-home mom, sociologist) at one time or another during my youth seemed, without question, like the path I should follow. As I get dangerously close to middle age, I'm finding that I'm really happy as a horticulturist and constantly learning and doing new things within that field. I feel no regret at not having pursued those other paths.Also, I was left with the impression that the "Personal Legend" of the main female character in the story was to send kisses on the wind and wait for the safe return of her man. I thought the book made an important point: that true love shouldn't keep you from fulfilling those aspirations that are truly important to you. But that should, obviously, be true for both partners. I'll give the author the benefit of the doubt and assume that he didn't focus much on Fatima's goals and dreams because that's not whose story he was telling. I'm hoping that, though she takes time out of her day to think of her love and pray for his safe return, she's spending more of her time pursuing dreams of her own.

Sithara

I need to start this review by stating 1) I can't stand self-help books and 2) I'm a feminist (no, I don't hate men- some men are quite awesome, but I am very conscious of women and our place in the world.)Short summary (mild spoilers): A boy named Santiago follows his 'Personal Legend' in traveling from Spain to the Pyramids in Egypt searching for treasure. Along the way, he learns 'the Language of the World' the 'Soul of the World' and discovers that the 'Soul of God' is 'his own soul.'If the statements in quotes above ('personal legend', etc) fascinate you, then you'll enjoy this book. If you think they are hokey and silly, then you'll think this is a terrible book. If you think statements such as "When you want something, all the universe conspires you to achieve it" and "All things are one" are moving and life-changing, you'll love this book. If such statements have you rolling your eyes, then this isn't your cup of tea.Its not that I find anything wrong with these messages. They are important, but must be balanced with responsibility. In my experience, 'following your dreams' (or personal legend) is not the only way toward wisdom and strength. Is the person who struggles to put food on the table every day for his or her family, consciously realizing that he or she may not be following his or her 'personal legend' any less heroic than some traveler who leaves everything and everyone he or she is responsible for to go on a spiritual quest? Coelho comes close to labeling such people, as losers in life, which I find completely off the mark as some of these people have the most to offer in terms of wisdom.The issue of responsibility is also part of this book's sexism. The main male characters in the novel have 'Personal Legends' - they are either seeking them, or have achieved them, or have failed to achieve them. But Coelho never mentions 'Personal Legend' with regard to women, other than to say that Fatima, Santiago's fiance, is 'a part of Santiago's Personal Legend." Thats fine, but what about her own Personal Legend? Instead of traveling to find her dreams, she is content to sit around, do chores, and stare everyday at the desert to wait for his return. This is her 'fate' as a desert women. The fact that women don't have Personal Legends is even more galling considering the fact that according to Coelho, even minerals such as lead and copper have Personal Legends, allowing them to 'evolve' to something better (ie, gold).In the ideal world presented in THE ALCHEMIST, it seems that the job of men is to seek out their personal legends, leaving aside thoughts of family and responsibility, and its the job of women to let them, and pine for their return. Of course, someone has to do the unheroic, inconvenient work of taking care of the children, the animals, the elderly, the ill...If everyone simply goes off on spiritual quests, deciding they have no responsibility other than to seek their Personal Legends, no one would be taking responsibility for the unglamorous work that simply has to take place for the world to run.On the other hand, what if both men and women are allowed to struggle towards their 'Personal Legends,' and help each other as best as they can towards them, but recognize that their responsibilities may force them to defer, compromise, or even 'sacrifice' their dreams? This may seem depressing, but it isn't necessarily. Coelho seems to think that Personal Legends are fixed at childhood (or at birth, or even before) and are not changeable: they have to be followed through to the end, no matter how silly. But in my experience, many people have chosen to adjust, compromise, and even 'give up' on their dreams, only to find that life grants them something better, or they have a new, better dream to follow, a path providing greater wisdom. For me, these people have a more realistic, more humble, more fair, and less cliched vision of the world than Paulo Coelho's vision in THE ALCHEMIST.

José-contemplates-Saturn's Aurora

The above picture (of the first English edition of the book) condenses, remarkably well, what this book is about. A shepherd boy (from Spain, Andalucia)and his sheep (inside center triangle);he has to travel to Africa to meet beloved Fatima in a oasis(right side)... and fight (sword on left side) in several ways to get his dreamt treasure.He'll have to pass many [initiatic?] tests,..facing the Nature elements (while crossing desert)and his own psychological limitations and fears. With the help of some other characters(the King of Salem-Melchizedek-, the old gypsy woman and, especially, the Alchemist) he'll manage to realize his dream.PreambleBefore reading this beautiful book I had the chance to watch some interviews Paulo Coelho gave. Ahead are some of the aspects I found pertinent to the interpretation of the present novel. (1) The author acknowledged the importance of Symbolism in the making of the text (how many times have I read "You've got to follow the signs"...in the Alchemist?); it goes back to a 1492 Catholic secret sect called Regnus Agnus Mundi.(2) Coelho made a very important distinction between having a dream and living the dream; this book, obviously, is about both.(3) When asked about his own death, how he would like to be recalled, the writer's first answer was that "he fought the good fight and kept his faith"; then spoke of cremation and this epitaph: "he died while he was still alive". Coelho stressed the importance of "following" one's own dreams.(4) Coelho said there are writers who attained to the level of: writing the "world language": Hemingway,Blake,Borges and Malba Tahan,as examples. In fact, ultimately, everybody can "dive" into the Soul of the World (Jung's Collective Unconscious).Preface to the bookCoelho explained that before writing this book he spent 11 years studying Alchemy. Yes, the issues of transforming metals into gold. That was back in the 1970's. The writer wanted badly to fabricate the Elixir of Life, that was the most seductive part of the enterprise he got into.Experts refused to receive him. It got him to nullity. In 1973 he was desperate. He tried (regrettably,he reckons) using his theatre pupils in magic...with the Emerald Tablets. No way. It followed 6 years of skepticism.THEN in 1981 he met RAM and his master....and got back into Alchemy studies; the master taught him some lessons....in a language directed to the heart, not to the reason.The Story1. Spain, AndaluciaSantiago is questioned: why are you a shepherd, since you can read...?... he says he'd been in the seminar till 16 years of age; he studied Latin, Spanish and Theology...but told father that he didn't want to become a priest. Santiago wanted to travel ...so he became a shepherd.One day a strange character shows up to Santiago; "I am the King of Salem": give me 1/10 of your flock and I will tell you how to get to your treasure.Santiago met the old gypsy woman: you come here because of dreams. Dreams are the language of God. Santiago had a recurrent dream; about a treasure...when a child was about to tell him the exact location of the treasure he woke up. Gypsy woman says wants 1/10 of the treasure.Again the King of Salem. He tells Santiago:"you got to follow the signs". And gives two stones to the shepherd; Urim and Turim, the black and white stones, for divination purposes. Santiago must fulfill his personal Legend, because what he wished to do was born in the universal Soul.2. AfricaThe shephard finds Africa strange.He gets robbed of all the money he took with him. So he has to work for the Crystals Merchant. A man whose business is 30 years old, ...but fears to accomplish his dream; he only dreams. Santiago wants to realize his. He knows he'll have to cross the desert to reach to the pyramids: the treasure is there. Meanwhile he helps the business prosper for the Merchant. Santiago has learned Arabic. On Tangiers Santiago recalled the image of Knight Santiago Matamouros (Moors slayer), riding his white horse.2.1 On the way towards Al Fayoum OasisIt's been 11 months, Santiago spent in Africa. Now, he's heading to the Oasis. He meets an Englishman who studied this topic: a world common language. But the Englishman is mainly concerned with the search for the Philosophical Stone; he wants to meet a man: The Alchemist; a 200-years-old master who visited Europe, but now lives in the Oasis.The boy befriends a camels conductor who lived in El Cairum; due to an earth quake he quit the agricultural work.The englishman speaks about the famous Alchemists: Ceber,Fulcanelli,Elias and Helvetius. He tells the shephard boy: fear to fail prevented me from trying the great work, now I am starting what I should have started 10 years ago. 2.2 Oasis of 50,000 Tamaras trees and 300 wellsThe Alchemist saw the caravan approaching. Santiago meets with Fatima.She is his treasure,now. Fatima says that the Alchemist knows about the world secrets and talks with the desert djins. Santiago ponders about love without possession while watching the desert hawks. Then he has a vision: an Army approaching the Oasis to attack it.Santiago is telling the leaders of the Oasis about his vision. -Who dared to read the flight of the hawks?... and old man recalls [Bible's] Joseph interpretations of dreams when in Egypt.... -we all know that whoever believes in dreams than he/she knows how to interpret them.In fact, the Oasis was attacked by 500 men; 499 got shot one hanged. The shepherd gets rewarded with 50 golden coins and he's invited as Oasis counsellor. But Santiago must follow his dream. So he leaves Oasis with the Alchemist.2.3 Ride to the Pyramids with the AlchemistOne Army makes them prisoners. The Alchemist says Santiago knows how to transform himself into Wind. The boy is scared, terrified. The Alchemist warns him: you are going to die, I know how to transform myself into Wind.It's the darkest hour for the boy. He starts praying: he wants to get back to Fatima and find his other treasure. He's got to "dive" into the desert; he'll talk to the desert for help; he'll try talking to the Levante Wind...or the Sun...though they don't know about love. But he manages to enrage the wind and a great sand storm covers the place where they're at. The Army gets convinced about the Shepherd's powers. He concludes he can perform miracles....because he believed his personal Legend. It's the Alchemist farewell: it's a 3-hours ride till the pyramids, now you go alone.2.4 The PyramidsSantiago is crying; he doesn't know where his treasure is. But at the spot where the tears had fallen upon, there's a scarab right there...(follow the signs!); Santiago starts digging...for all night. Robbers show up, spank him...and he confesses he was looking for a treasure; but found none. One of the thieves tells Santiago: you won't die, you're going to live and learn that a man cannot be stupid; right on the spot where you stand I, too, had a recurrent dream...I should go to the plains of Spain, search for a church in ruins, where shepherds used to sleep with the sheep,...a sycamore tree growing up inside the church...had I excavated where the root was, I would have found a hidden treasure.But I'm not stupid.Thieves left,the boy knew the pyramids were smiling at him.3. Back in Spain , Andalucia plains.Yes, by the sycamore tree Santiago digs...and finds the treasure: golden coins...and precious stones. He adds to them Urim and Turim. He's got to hand 1/10 of this to the gypsy woman. He feels the kiss of the Wind...he must rush to Fatima, waiting for him in the Oasis.------------A Boy turning into a Man; one who relies on his heart.Rituals of Becoming.Four stars and a half.-What about the Englishman? ..he was left in the Oasis trying to produce gold out of plumbum,...via Alchemy. But there's no telling of his success...or failure.

أحمد

رواية غيّرت روحي.أحمد الديب2007

Mohammed Arabey

~~~~~ T h e ~ A l c h e m i s t ~~~ ~~~~ ~~~ الـخـيـــميائـــي ~~~~~Half-full Cauldron of Clever Storytelling قدر به قصه محكيه ببراعه2 Measures of Ancient Legends of Wisdom مقدار من اساطير حكيمه قديمه1 Bundle of Self-Help Motivations حزمه من دوافع التنميه الذاتيه1 Measure of Spiritual Experiences مقدار من التجارب الروحيهSome Drops of Love ~~~~ قطرات من الحـــــــبA Bunch of Magic ~~~~ حفنه من الســــحر½ Cub of Philosophy ~~~~ مقدار من الفلسفه¼ Scoop of Thriller ~~~~ ربع مغرفه من الاثارهMix it all together in the Cauldron.. أخلطهم جميعا في القدرWith Drops of an Oasis' Springs Water مع ماء من ينابيع واحه صحراويهAnd Bunch of Golden Desert's Sands و حفنه من رمال الصحراء الذهبيهLet it all Stir by The Desert's Winds دع الخليط يقلبه رياح الصحراء ِAnd Heat up by the Heat of the Sun rays ويسخنه حراره اشعه الشمسِAnd Then you'll got the Treasure... وستحصل عندها علي الكنزA Gold,even the Philosopher's Stone ذهــب, حتي حجر الفيلسوفA Great Charming Story, A brilliant literature قصه ساحره,أدب لامعThe Alchemist ----------- الـخيميــائـيBy the Master ----------- للاستــاذPaulo Coelho ----------- باولو كويللومحمد العربيفي 24 اكتوبر 2013قراءه من 25 اغسطس 2012الي 2 سبتمبر 2012©The Cauldron picture from www.pottermore.com

Mohamed Galal

-- بعد أن بدأت ب20"" صفحة بترجمة بسمة أشرف " نسخة ورقيّة " انتقلت إلى ترجمة بهاء طاهر " نسخة pdf" .-- سمعت كثيرًا عن روعة تلك الرواية قبل الشروع في قرائتها .-- لم تعجبني ، ولا يستهويني هذا النوع من الروايات .-- الأسطورة الذاتيّة ، إكسير الحياة ، حجر الفلاسفة ، روح العالم .-- شعرت أنّي أقرأ رواية فى التنمية البشريّة .-- شعرت وكأنّ كويلهو كاهن يلقن تلاميذه تعاليم الرب .-- أحسست بملل شديد ورتابة مضنية في أوّل 100 صفحة " الرواية 159 صفحة " ، بدأت الأحداث في الإثارة _إلى حدٍ ما _ بعد ذلك .-- حوار مع الصحراء ، ثمّ حوار مع الشمس ، ثمّ حوار مع يد القدرة ، ما هذا الهراء ؟! ، لا أعرف كيف أنهيتك !-- لا أعي تفسيرًا لتلك الضجّة والصخب الكثير والإعجاب المبالغ فيه للرواية إلّا أنّ أغلب ساكني البسيطة أصبحوا يلهثون وراء أي هراء متعلّق بعلم التنمية البشريّة .

Don

I simply could not finish this book. I got halfway through it only to wind up on goodreads.com to see what others thought. I simply felt guilty panning a book that has received such global acclaim; more than that, I felt lame and inadequate.Well, it turns out that my sentiments were echoed. I basically felt I was reading an overblown parable and that the same lessons were being spelled out again and again. It was like the 16th verse of a hymn. Throughout my life I have periodically reflected to get a sense of who I am, where I am going and whether I want to end up there. I am an extremely introspective person and I am constantly evaluating and re-evaluating my person; sometimes for the better, sometimes out of necessity. To put a fine point on it, I regularly do that which is, for lack of a better word, preached in this book. The problem I had with The Alchemist is that instead of feeling reinforced and validated, I felt uncomfortable and nagged.

Zaki

A spanish shepherd boy santiago dreams about a treasure hidden at the foot of the egyptian pyramids. He leaves Spain to find it and journeys to the markets of Tangiers and across the Egyptian desert, guided along the way by a camel driver, an alchemist and other spiritual guides. and he discovers a far greater treasure (greater than any earthly gold): wisdom, self knowledge and enlightenment. But the Alchemist is not about Santiago at all. It's an inspirational fable; it's about our own self discovery; it's about awakening your passions; it's about following your heart; embracing life as a journey and finding the courage to chase your dreams. It felt more like a really hackneyed self-help book. I don't know if it makes great literature. What is great literature?

asma Qadah

عرفته أوّل مرة من روايته إحدى عشر دقيقة.. كانت المرة الأولى التي أقرأ فيها قصة أو رواية مترجمة؛ نظراً لعدم وثوقي غالباً في الأدبيّات المترجمة فيما سبق..أنهيت قبل أيام قراءة الخيميائي، شدّني الاسم؛ خاصة أنها في الانجليزية تسمى The Alchemist ولا أدري هل كانت الكيمياء فيما سبق تسمى خيمياء؟تدور الرواية حول راعٍ أندلسي ترك مهنته ليحقق حلماً تكرر مرّتين، زار من بعدها غجرية أوّلت له حلمه ووثقت به حين لم تأخذ منه ثمن تأويل الحلم أو تفسيره إلا بعد تحقق تأويلها حيث عليه أن يسافر من (طيفا) الأندلس إلى الأهرامات عبوراً بالبحر ثم التنقل من مدينة عربية إلى أخرى انتهاءً بالصحراء ثم الواحات..كـ راعٍ؛ كان عليه تعلّم الكثير من الأمور و اكتساب صفاتٍ أخرى لم تعلمه إياها رعاية الأغنام، بدءاً من الصبر و إتقان اللغة العربية و الاعتياد على أجواء الصحراء و السير وِفق أنظمة أخرى..إصرار سانتياغو على تحقيق حلمه رغم تعرّضه للسرقة في إحدى الحانات مما دفعه العمل في محل بلّوريات لمدة عامٍ كامل يمكّنه فيما بعد لشراء عدد كبير من الخرفان، لكنه تنازل عن ذلك في مقابل تحقيق حلمه و هو الحصول على الكنز المدفون عند الأهرامات.. المضحِك في القصة أنه كان على الراعي العَودة إلى حيث كان، إلى طيفا ليجد الكنز مخبّأً في نفس الدير الذي نام فيه يوماً و راوده الحلم!تدور كذلك القصة حول علاقة الإنسان بربه و مدى إيمانه و يقينه بـ”ذاته هو” و يقينه بالله و بالإشارات التي يرسلها للعبد.. جعلتني الأحداث التي دارت في القصة على مراجعة حياتي و الرياح التي هبّت عليها.. لوهلة؛ شعرت كم أنا ساخطة على حياتي فيما سبق! تساءلت عن معنى الصبر، الإيمان بالقضاء و القدر، التسليم الكامل لله!.. كلها معانٍ كانت خافية عني في الشهور الماضية، هذا إذا ما اعتبرت نفسي كثيرة الشكوى و التذمر سواء من وظيفتي أو الحياة أو أطفالي.. المرة الوحيدة التي شعرت فيها براحة نفسية عميقة حينما كنت في محنةٍ كادت أن توقف قلبي خلال شهر فبراير، لم أكن أعرف ماذا عليّ أن أفعل حينها و لم أجد أمامي سوى الاستسلام لقضاء الله، أذكر أنني دعَوْت حينها “اللهم سلّمت أمري لك أنت وحدك العالِم مابي و لا مُعين لي سواك اقضِ لي بالخير و رضّني بقضائك” كان (و ما يزال) من المهم بالنسبة لي الرضا بالقضاء و الحكم ذاته..باولو كويلو الرائع جداً احتفل ذات عامٍ ببيع روايته للسنة العشرين و هي النسخة الموجودة لدي، له أقف احتراماً لكاتب استمرّ الآخرون في قراءة كتابه كل هذه الأعوام!!

Huda Yahya

إن كل رجل سعيد كان هو ذاك الذي اعتنق الله في داخلهوأنه يمكن للسعادة أن تكون موجودة في حبة رمل بسيطة في الصحراء لأن حبة الرمل هي لحظة من عملية الخلقوأن الكون قد كرّس ملايين وملايين السنين في خلقهاإنّني أخاف إذا حقّقت حُلميألّا يتبقّى لي بعد ذلك سبب للعيش يوجد شخص ينتظر شخصاً آخرسواء أكان هذا في وسط الصحراء أو في قلب المدن الكبرىوعندما يلتقي هؤلاء الشخصانوتتقاطع نظرتاهمافإن الماضي والمستقبل لا أهميةلهماولحظة الحاضر وحدها هي التي تبقىمن المريح أن تقرأ كتابا لكويللو من حين لآخر..

Patrick

Timing is everything. If I'd read 'The Alchemist' four years ago, I'm sure I would have loved it. It deals in big, bold pronouncements of 'follow your dreams' et cetera et cetera, and it certainly makes you think about your own life and the pursuit of your own "Personal Legend" if you will. But maybe I'm older and more cynical now, or maybe it's not cynicism so much as just seeing a reality that isn't so mystical and black and white as Paulo Coelho's, but in any event, I just wasn't buying what 'The Alchemist' was selling.It's a good, quick read, I'll give it that. I enjoyed myself, and I definitely thought a little bit about my own life in the process, which I appreciate from my literature. And while I was more or less with it for a while, I just couldn't stay on board with an ending that left me saying, "that's it? Really?" Be forewarned, there will be spoilers after this point . The whole book Santiago is in pursuit of his "Personal Legend", which he is told is a great treasure found in the pyramids of Egypt. Along the way he befriends many people and makes a great sum of money, while also meeting a beautiful young woman who agrees to more or less be his life-partner, Romeo and Juliet-style (which is stupid in and of itself, but more on that later). It is at this point that he determines he has achieved a greater treasure than any he had ever dreamed of, and would go no further. Beautiful. Cue the music and themes of recognizing treasure in all its forms. Santiago has a wonderful, fulfilling life laid out before him, and would most likely die a happy man by the side of his lovely wife and adoring children, all while living comfortably as village counselor of a beautiful desert oasis. Sounds pretty nice, no?Well, that's where the book lost it's footing. Santiago is urged, coerced even, into continuing to follow his "Personal Legend", leaving behind his "love" (who, it should be mentioned is a "woman of the desert" and so is completely fine being abandoned by her "love" and will simply wait and wait and wait for him, whether he ever returns or not) traversing the desert and (bizarrely) evading a hostile army along the way by turning himself into the wind (it makes about as much sense as it sounds). In the end though, Coelho reveals to us that Santiago does, indeed, reach his "Personal Legend" in a two and a half page epilogue, where it is shoddily revealed that Santiago's long-sought after treasure is...treasure. Literally. Buried treasure. A box in the sand filled with gold coins and diamonds and jewelry and crowns, and all the other cliche treasure images you can think up. What the hell?So what message are we supposed to take from this book then? Money is the most important thing in the world? Women are objects meant to be seen and valued for their beauty, there to serve you and wait around forever while you go on wild goose chases across continents in search of money? Obviously I'm being facetious, and Coelho intended to say that one should follow their dreams no matter what, even if it transcends a nice, content life, so long as you are in pursuit of a life that would be even greater than you can ever imagine, sacrificing what is good now for what can be great later. But he did so in an extremely simplistic way, and the revelation of the Santiago's treasure being literally treasure was a major disappointment.The thing was, despite his simplicity, the book had a nice message going for a while. If Fatima was Santiago's treasure, that I could have gotten behind, even if it shows a good deal of contempt for the role of women in relationships (beauty being the most important factor in deciding on a mate, as Santiago is struck by her beauty and immediately professes his love; Fatima more or less acquiesces immediately and pledges herself to Santiago no matter what, even if he must travel the desert forever in selfish pursuit of his own dreams, with no regard for her), because that is something intangible that is meaningful and fulfilling, regardless of financial standing. But then Coelho basically goes on to say that that is just a roadblock in the way of real achievement, and that one should selfishly pursue their own dreams with no regard for those closest to them.How a book can go on and on talking about seeing the everyday symbols and omens in life and taking heed of them, presumably leaving metaphors for life all along the way, and then have what was presumably the biggest metaphor of them all, Santiago's treasure, turn out not to be a metaphor at all, but just money? To me, that summed up everything. I suppose Coelho realizes this, as he begins the book with a brief fable about Narcissus falling into the river because he loved staring at his reflection, and the river's disappointment in this, as the river loved gazing into Narcissus's eyes and seeing the reflection of itself. This is a horrible little story implying that everyone is obsessed only with themselves, a sad, empty little thought that Coelho spends 167 pages endorsing wholeheartedly, under the guise of following your dreams.I understand that other people love this book and find it inspiring, and I think I would have felt the same way years ago, when I was just out of college and it appeared I had my whole life ahead of me and a lifetime to live it. I'm older now, and I've found someone who I consider to be a real treasure, and while I still have dreams, I'm not willing to sacrifice the happiness that this life brings me every day in a single-minded pursuit of something that I want for selfish reasons (fame, fortune, etc.). If I was Santiago, I would have never left Fatima in the first place if she truly made me happy, as Santiago claimed she did. Perhaps that makes me a coward in Coelho's eyes, not unlike the Crystal merchant from the story. But it'd also make me not the sad Englishman, whose single-minded pursuit of his "personal legend" had cost him all his money, friends, and family and left him alone in an oasis burning lead in a tent in the vain hopes it will turn to gold.I guess what I'm trying to say in this long-winded review, is that this book is all about being selfish and doing what you think will make you happy, regardless of everything else. I can see why that appeals to people, especially those who want to show the doubters and find their own treasure beneath a sycamore tree, but it's sad, in a way. We live in a culture where everyone wants selfish things like fame or money or power, just to satisfy some gaping hole in their own souls, ignoring the real problems that lead to these compulsions in the first place. To me, this book feeds and even encourages that misplaced ideal, and that's a shame.

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