The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

    the_alchemist     When I decided to read the alchemist, I started turning the first few pages and that’s where the authors note appeared. I saw the most powerful speech written in a letter. The letter was from the American publisher, HarperCollins to Paulo Coelho which said, “Reading The Alchemist was like getting up at dawn and seeing the sun rise while the rest of the world still slept.” Now here is a book worthy of reading, I thought.

            The Alchemist is an unforgettable story because this book makes us think about following our dreams and listening to our hearts.

           Santiago, a Spanish shepherd boy, longs to travel the world. He dreams of a treasure buried in Egypt.  He is advised by a gypsy fortune teller and by a mysterious man claiming to be the ancient King of Salem, and soon finds himself headed for North Africa. He meets an Englishman interested by the history of alchemy. He falls in love with a girl named Fatima. Finally, he meets the Alchemist who helps him recognize the sign of omens and the sign of success. He also helps him learn how to create gold from a metal. By the time Santiago reaches the Pyramids, he is prepared to not find treasure there.

            I totally agree with the statement “Dreams are made to be followed.” Do you have any dreams? Are there any days in your life in which you think about your long lost treasure? The boy in the story followed his dreams and listened to his heart in the desert, and consequently he went to find his treasure. I think we all have a different treasure. Throughout his journey he saw many roads, strange cultures, and foreign people. God had chosen to show him his treasure in a strange way. If he hadn’t believed in the significance of recurrent dreams, he would not have met the old Gypsy women in Tarifa who taught him that “dreams are the language of God,” and Melchizedek, the king of Salem, who taught him about omens, and told him, “Everything in life has its own price.” Also, he met many other wise people like the Alchemist and the Englishman. At the end of the story the boy did not find the treasure, but was ready to embrace the revelation that is be found back at home… and in himself.

            I was particularly interested in this conversation between the old man and the boy:

The old man said to the boy, ”Everyone believes the world’s greatest lie.”

“What’s the world’s greatest lie?” the boy asked, completely surprised.

“It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.”

“That’s never happened to me,” the boy said. “They wanted me to be a priest, but I decided to become a shepherd.”

“Much better,” said the old man. “Because you really like to travel.”

            I want to comment on the conversation above, because I like to talk about fate. Fate is not that word that we often think about it. Many people say for their lives, “It’s our fate that’s all, it is written by Allah”. Right it is written by Allah, but you should know that it’s your choice to decide what you want to do or what you want from this world.

     Finally, I hope everyone will read this book, and I want to thank Paulo Coelho for writing this beautiful piece. When you read this book, you will be able to understand what it means to follow your dream.


By: Hunar Ismael