Paulo Coelho Press Conference at Pera Palace Hotel

Paulo Coelho at press conference

Paulo Coelho at press conference

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. — 1 John 4:8, NIV

Paulo Coelho died at birth, strangled by his umbilical cord. His mother prayed and he survived. The hospital was called Saint Joseph. His mother made a promise to Saint Joseph. Paulo Coelho upholds that promise and one way he does so is to hold a party each year on St Joseph’s Day with his friends to celebrate.

Last year it was at Melk Abbey. This year it is at the Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul. And that ıs why this afternoon he held this press conference. Not, as some may think, to promote his new book Elif as he did not need to.

Elif (O Aleph in Portugal and Brazil) was released ın Turkey last week. It has already reached Number One in Turkey without any help or promotion by Paulo Coelho. His books do not need it, they sell by word of mouth.

To date almost 150 million books sold. If we assume at least three people read each book, then we are approaching half a billion readers.

Why do people read the books? Ask the readers. All Paulo Coelho does is write them.

Why does he write? We all have stories to tell. That is how we retain our culture. Some of us follow our dreams.

Joseph, a simple carpenter, followed his dreams. He worked with with love.

That is the question we should all ask ourselves: Do we work with love, do we put love into our work? That is the the question God will ask us, not did we sin, but did we put love into our work?

Jesus told stories. The Koran tells us to tell stories and reflect on those stories. The Hindu classics are stories.

People are rising up, they are demanding change, they will no longer accept the old order.

Elif, released in Turkey last week, is the story of a journey. A journey that starts in Moscow on the Trans-Siberian railway. It is a spiritual journey. It is the story of a Turkish woman called Elif.

Elif or Aleph is a point in space and time.

It is rare for Paulo Coelho to hold a press conference, which explains the massed TV cameras. I was told even CNN was there. On the platform with Paulo Coelho was his publisher in Turkey and the Brazilian Ambassador to Turkey.

This evening Paulo Coelho will be hosting a party for his friends at the Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul.

On leaving Pera Palace I wandered to Istiklal Avenue where I found copies of Elif on display in a bookshop. I had hoped to see the historic tram which Orhan Pamuk writes of in one of his books but I was out of luck. The street was blocked by a massive anti-nuclear demonstration.

Pera Palace Hotel has been recently renovated. It was built for passengers on the Orient Express. Many famous guests including Ernest Hemmingway, Greta Garbo, Agatha Christie, who wrote Murder on the Orient Express whilst staying at the Pera Palace Hotel. In the entrance foyer is an old sedan chair. Chairs such as this were used to carry guests from the station, across the river and up the hill to the Pera Palace Hotel. The electric lift inside the hotel was the second only installed in Europe. The first was the Eiffel Tower. Pera Palace is listed in 1000 Places to See Before You Die, with a copy opened at the relevant pages in a display cabinet in the hotel foyer.

Paulo Coelho in Turkey
Paulo Coelho meets readers in Istanbul
Paulo Coelho İstanbul’da “Elif”i anlattı
Coelho ‘Elif’ ile İstanbul’da
Paulo Coelho: Paylaşmazsanız insan değilsiniz
Paulo Coelho İstanbul’da
Brezilyalı Yazar Paulo Coelho İstanbul’da
Coelho, İstanbul’da

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7 Responses to “Paulo Coelho Press Conference at Pera Palace Hotel”

  1. marie-christine Says:

    How lucky we are that Paulo is with us.
    The comment you made about how three people read Paulo’s books is interesting. !/2 billion is quite a number in itself.
    You said reading is part of our culture but there is much more than that with Paulo Coelho’s books because there is such a wide audience. It is calling for reflection of what it is that draws us so much to his books. For me, and it is only my opinion it is his humanity, and the way he connects with the readers is so unique. From one side of the globe to the other one, a multi-cultural approach is what bonds us together and this is what is being achieved on PauloCoelho’s Blog. Quite a phenomenal success regardless of your nationality, language, religion, and respecting the other opinions.
    This is one of the most clever way of engaging a conversation and learning about yourself, looking in the mirror.. with the hope of following your dreams. and learning other languages as well.
    That’s the bonus.

    • keithpp Says:

      I actually said telling stories is part of our culture. Indeed it is not part of our culture, it is our culture.

      • marie-christine Says:

        Telling stories is part of our culture .of course it is.
        I told you a story a while ago, you might want to print it …sometimes
        With love

  2. keithpp Says:

    Reporting of this press conference on Demotix is an example of extremely shoddy journalism. The press conference was not a book launch or promotion for Elif. Paulo Coelho made this very explicit at the press conference!

  3. Gabriela Romaria Says:

    Very beautiful person, I like Paulo and I like his books! Thank you for inviting me here!

  4. Romy_sl74 Says:

    Je recherche le moyen de pourvoir écrire à Paolo Coelho.
    Pourriez-vous mes dire s’il viendrait en Belgique, car j’aimerais le rencontrer?

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