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In Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist, what is the name of the desert that the caravan...

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julie13 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 25, 2013 at 1:38 AM via web

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In Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist, what is the name of the desert that the caravan travels across?

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted April 25, 2013 at 3:47 PM (Answer #1)

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Santiago joins a caravan that crosses the four different modern-day countries of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Lybia while continuing on into Egypt.  The Oasis that the caravan stops at for rest is called Al-Fayoum which is in Lybia, but the boy is told "Al-Fayoum is in Egypt," by an Arab (70). These countries lie in the Western Sahara, or what is also known today as Maghrib or Maghreb. Coelho doesn't give many specifics as to the desert's name, only that the leader of the caravan says, "I hold the power oflife and death for every person I take with me. The desert is a capricious lady, and sometimes she drives men crazy"(71). The desert represents the landscape for Santiago's learning. He learns from the omens of the desert which teach him to learn the Language of the World.

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