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  • Welcome to ALT Magazine & Press: Hazawi Prize Announces 2023 Shortlist: (Sana'a, Yemen) - The shortlist for the 2023 Hazawi Prize for Yemeni Literature has been revealed, announcing the ten writers who have been selected as finalists for this prestigious award.
  • Now in its second yearly round, the Hazawi Prize recognizes exceptional contributions to fiction in Yemeni literature. Organized by the Hazawi Cultural Foundation, this annual prize aims to promote Yemeni literature and support creative writers.
  • This year's shortlist features both emerging and renowned Yemeni authors. The ten works advancing to the final round of judging are:
  • - Abdullah Faisal shortlisted for his novel, Spirits and Secrets.
  • - Aisha Saleh shortlisted for her novel, Under the Ashes
  • - Farouk Merish shortlisted for his novel, A Dignified Stranger
  • - Ahmed Ashraf shortlisted for his novel, A Painful Belt
  • - Ghassan Khalid shortlisted for his novel, A Sky that Rains Fear
  • - Hosam Adel shortlisted for his novel, The Lord of the Black Dog
  • - Asmaa Abdulrazak shortlisted for her novel, Shrapnels
  • - Abdullah Abdu Muhammad shortlisted for his novel, The Road to Sana'a
  • - Najah Bahkeim shortlisted for her novel, The Final Decision
  • - Samir AbdulFattah shortlisted for her novel, What We Cannot See
  • The winner will be revealed at an award ceremony in Sana'a later where they will receive $1,500 USD. Second and third prizes of $1,000 USD each will also be awarded. All shortlisted works are celebrated for chronicling Yemen's rich culture and wartime experiences. This prestigious prize continues highlighting the nation's thriving literary community.

A Friend – Nabilah Al-Sheikh

A Friend

by Nabilah Al-Sheikh

translated by Hatem Al-Shamea


Oh, be my friend,

In times of silence, when words fail to express,

When thoughts swirl within, like a tempest’s caress.


Oh, be my friend,

A confidant true, with a heart open wide,

Where secrets reside, in a haven of pride.


Oh, be my friend,

A beacon of light, in the darkness I roam,

A solace to my soul, a place called home.


When I’m long gone from sight,

Misunderstand me not, for my absence takes flight,

To realms where words cannot reach, where silence holds might.


Oh, be my friend,

In my absence, let not doubt take its hold,

For my spirit still lingers, in stories yet untold.


I boast of a friend,

A rare gem so pure, with a soul ever true,

In honesty’s embrace, their spirit shines through.


When I hear their voice,

I shrink into a child, seeking solace and choice,

Their words like a torrent, flowing wild and free,

A symphony of truth, setting my spirit free.


Oh, be my friend,

In my absence, let not loneliness bind,

For my wounds find solace, in your friendship I find.


A thousand faces, a thousand tongues,

Yet only in silence, true peace belongs.


So speak, my dear friend,

Of the heavens above, of life’s vibrant thread,

For I listen with heart, with every word said.


With each tale you weave,

My spirit takes flight, in a haven of peace,

Forgetting the burdens, the worries that cease.


Oh, speak, my dear friend,

For I often forget, the beauty that lies,

In the depths of our souls, where true friendship resides.


And when I fall silent,

When words fail to rise,

When anger and sorrow, cloud my skies,


Understand my silence,

The language untold,

Of a heart that’s been wounded, a story yet sold.


For when words cannot reach,

And tears cannot flow,

And strength seems to vanish, where did it go?


In that silent embrace,

In your friendship’s embrace,

I find solace and strength, in this sacred space.


Oh, be my friend,

In my silence, my pain,

In the depths of my soul, where true friendship remains.


A New Home – Nabila Al-Sheikh – trans. Hatem Al-Shamea

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