Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

After visiting Egypt and Lebanon, what is your impression about both countries , and about Arabic literature ? Did you read any Arabic novels, and if you did what are the novels you are celebrated more, also the novelists?

The visit to Egypt, in 1987, was fundamental for me to be able to write “The Alchemist”. It was then that I learned more about Islam and about the richness of this country but I learned that when talking to common people, who still keep the ancient knowledge of Egypt in their heart, although not in a conscious manner. I was deeply impressed by the sensibility I found there. As for the Arabic influence in the world literature, you have millennia of great writers and prose, so it will be unfair to single out one or two writers.