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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 Wandering Café – Mohyee Addin Jarma

A Wandering Café

by Mohyee Addin Jarma

translated by Hatem Al-Shamea


A Wandering Café

In your land, even the pebbles bloom,

Springs welling from their core.

Birds beckon with their gentle swoop,

Dew whispers: “Photograph – the old home’s wall.”


I see summer like silence, laid to rest

On a bed of sand and water by the sea,

The teacher forgets his chalk clouds in the bowl,

A mirage for a blackboard.


And deserts of lands

Wounded by wandering and grass,

The absence of absence.


The tale is woven with a silken thread,

And a woman’s splendor in winter’s guise.

I see lightning in a stone,

Marred by the footsteps of shadow and sand,

And the rose of women who passed in haste,

Leaving men laden, heavy.


I gathered shadows,

Stood on a shore,

And a sunset, slight as a grain of sand,

On the slope of a table.


Raw fish in the tangled nets,

The expanse is closed,

The echo narrow,

The city with no dawn but the sea.


And bread, the sustenance of the poor,

No passersby but a handful,

With daggers tucked in their waists,

And the shadow in the sun, killing.


Grass for sale,

A team ascends

On lottery paper,

Cardboard steeped in the darkness of henna.


A land on its executioner’s palm,

Bending daily,

On the gold of the wall newspapers.


The last letter walks without an end,

Darkness feeds bread and light

From a woman’s pistachio in the day of windows,

Behind the veil of her curtains.


In a celebration – the sick air,

Not yet refined by the sea,

A wounding sorrow like mountain birds,

And an old shadow sleeping on a tree in the clouds.


And nothing in the wind

But the wind’s blood.


An absence wandering in the “metaphysics” of its shadow:

-The breaking of meters here is for necessity-

A rose on the mud drinking shadow,

On cold porcelain,

Like sugar water,

And a hookah flower,

In the earth where the wind stumbled with steps.


Air melting into a morning-worthy stream on a lip,

And water settling on the mud of its trees,

A moon drinking the night and waiting,

Waving, thirsty, between its notebooks,

Water for water,

As it melts in a woman’s sugar, her summer,

Like a plant’s segment.


In Proof that I Am Not Dead – Yaseen Al-Bukali – trans. Hatem Al-Shamea

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