The Alchemist was first published in 1988. The protagonist of the story, a young Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago, is plagued with recurring dreams, wherein a mysterious child urges him to look for buried treasure at the base of the Egyptian pyramids. Determined, he leaves Spain and heads towards Egypt. En route, he meets the King of Salem, a man named Melchizedek. Melchizedek introduces Santiago to the concept of a ˜Personal Legend or a personal map or a quest that guides him to what his heart truly desires.
While attempting to cross the Sahara desert on the way to Egypt, he joins a caravan which is driven by an Englishman who is aspiring to be an alchemist. During a stopover in Al-Fayoum, Santiago meets Fatima, a young girl of exceeding beauty who steals his heart. He asks her to marry him, but she declines to say that she will do so only once he has found the treasure he seeks. In the Saharan oasis of Al-Fayoum, Santiago meets a 200-year-old alchemist who decides to accompany him on his expedition. He imparts wisdom and valuable knowledge to Santiago, who eventually understands why the supposed treasure keeps evading him.
Having sold over 65 million copies worldwide, The Alchemist is marked by its profound simplicity, the easy flow of the story, and the poignant moral it tries to teach the reader, that worldly possessions and extravagance are immaterial when compared to finding your own ˜Personal Legend.
Born in Brazil, Paulo Coelho started his career as a lyricist and theatre director and later left it to become an author. Paulo has written and published over 30 books and is also an avid blogger. He is active on numerous other social media platforms. Paulo Coelho was named the Messenger of Peace of the United Nations in 2007 and has bagged numerous prestigious awards like the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum, The Honorable Award of the President of the Republic by the President of Bulgaria and so on.
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