the fire of friendship

Ferrovia Transiberiana, 2006, onde se passa o livro

Ferrovia Transiberiana, 2006, onde se passa o livro

Once upon a time there was a poor but very brave man called Ali. He worked for Ammar, a rich old merchant.

One winter’s night Ammar said: “nobody can spend a night like this on top of the mountain without a blanket or food. But you need money, and if you can manage to do that you will receive a great reward. If you don’t, you will work for thirty days without pay”.

Ali answered: “tomorrow I shall do this test”.

But when he left the shop, he saw that a really icy wind was blowing and became scared, so he decided to ask his best friend, Aydi, if it was crazy of him to accept that bet.

After reflecting a while, Aydi answered: “I shall help you. Tomorrow, when you are at the top of the mountain, look ahead. I will be on the top of the mountain next to yours, where I will spend the whole night with a bonfire lit for you. You look at the fire and think about our friendship – that will keep you warm. You will manage, and later on I shall ask you something in return.”

Ali won the test, got the money, and went to his friend’s house: “You told me you wanted some payment.”

Aydi answered: ”Yes, but it isn’t money. Promise that if at any time a cold wind passes through my life, you will light the fire of friendship for me.”

O Aleph is Paulo Coelho’s hugely anticipated new book, releasing worldwide in 2011. It has already been published in Portuguese in Brazil and since its release in July 2010 has stayed firmly in the top 10 bestseller lists. Readers of the book include the Brazilian President Lula Da Silva.

O Aleph is a journey into Paulo Coelho’s soul; past, present and future. In his blog he writes:

The 3rd sacred road is called Road to Jerusalem. Again, you don’t need to go to Jerusalem, but you have to travel in space and time. The only task I was given was: stay away from home for the next 4 months. I went to several countries, but the epiphany happened while crossing Asia in the Transiberian train (15 days, 7 different time zones, 9.2528 kms from Moscow to Vladivostok). I was traveling with a Turkish girl, Hilal (not her real name), for reasons that you are going to discover in the book. This point where time and space converge is called “The Aleph” (J.L.Borges has a wonderful short story about this point). Therefore, this is the title of my new book: O Aleph.’

Adapted from a post by Priya Sher on her blog. Also posted by Paulo Coelho on his blog.

For my lovely friend Sian for whom the the fire of friendship will always burn no matter how chill the wind blows.

Also see

The Alchemist

The Pilgrimage


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One Response to “the fire of friendship”

  1. Elaine Says:

    This story gets better every time I read it. My we all keep a flame lit and turn it into a huge fire that can be felt across the globe when our friends need our love and support.

    (((~^~^~LOVE~^~^~))) coming your way,


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