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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.

Al-Gharbi Emran

Al-Gharbi Emran is a renowned Yemeni novelist and short story writer. He has established himself as a prominent figure in the literary world. Born in 1958, he spent his early childhood in Yemen and Sudan before returning to Saudi Arabia in his youth and eventually making his way back to Yemen after fifteen years of travel.

Emran is a full-time creative writer, dedicating his life to the art of storytelling. He has published numerous short stories and novels over the years, earning him critical acclaim and recognition both in Yemen and abroad.

In his short stories, Emran weaves intricate tales that reflect the complexities of life in Yemen and the wider Arab world. His stories are rich in detail, vividly capturing the sights, sounds, and smells of the places he writes about. Through his writing, Emran offers a glimpse into the lives of ordinary people, exploring their hopes, dreams, and struggles with compassion and understanding.

Emran’s novels are equally compelling, delving deep into the human experience and offering profound insights into the nature of humanity. His works are characterized by their vivid characters, intricate plots, and insightful commentary on the world we live in.

Among Emran’s most notable works is his novel “Red Scripture,” which was published in 2010. The novel “Red Scripture” is a thought-provoking work that sparks discussions about the author’s intellectual vision through its characters. Emran seeks to convey his perspective on religious unity and the rejection of bigotry and extremism. However, the imaginative narrative in the novel intersects temporally and artistically with the desire to document and showcase the history of modern Yemen through its most prominent turning points, and the political and social conflicts it has witnessed since the 1970s.

The novel’s narrative style is skillfully crafted, drawing the reader into a world that is both real and surreal. The characters are complex and multi-dimensional, reflecting the diverse perspectives and experiences of the people of Yemen. Through their interactions, the novel explores themes of love, loss, faith, and the search for meaning in a world torn apart by conflict and division.

The novel’s historical backdrop is equally compelling, depicting the struggles of the Yemeni people as they navigate a rapidly changing political and social landscape. From the struggle for independence to the civil war and the rise of extremist groups, the novel offers a nuanced and insightful portrayal of Yemen’s complex history.

Overall, “Red Scripture” is a powerful work of literature that challenges readers to think deeply about the issues that matter most in our world today. Through its evocative imagery, complex characters, and rich historical context, the novel offers a unique perspective on the human experience and the enduring struggle for peace and unity.

Another of Emran’s works, “Zaidi Fort,” published by Dar Hachette Antoine in Beirut, sheds light on tribalism, the exploitation of sectarianism, and the systematic illiteracy. The events in the novel take place in successive areas in the north of the country, where darkness reigns, centered around Sana’a. In contrast, Aden and areas in the south of the country witness the birth pangs of the final sighs, paving the way for liberation from colonialism. The author, Al-Gharbi Emran, brings the reader closer to the daily life of these areas, skillfully narrating events, details, and practices of enslavement that seem to have no end. With narrative skill and great familiarity with the details of the reality and vocabulary of that period in Yemen’s history, Emran takes the reader on a journey to a world that is almost like a series of a cinematic film on a television screen, starting from life inside and outside the fort, along the valley, villages, and “mukhalif” (an old administrative division in Yemen).

The novel reveals the practices of “the sheikhs” and their assistants and guards, demonstrating the value of the citizen (the “ra’wi”) who is both himself and all that he possesses belongs to the sheikh, whether he likes it or not. It highlights a bitter feudal life: a daily routine of horror, persistence in injustice and violation of rights without restraint or objection, according to the events of the novel. The story, through its characters and events, reveals the path to a civic life where everyone is equal under the umbrella of the law, a life dominated by security, stability, and peaceful coexistence between all classes, groups, and sects. However, this dream is not easy to achieve.

Emran’s works have earned him numerous honors and awards over the years. He has been recognized by the Yemeni Writers and Authors Union, the Tayeb Salih Award, and the Rashid Bin Hamad Emirati Prize, among others. He has also participated in many literary forums and events around the world, sharing his insights and experiences with readers and writers alike.

As a critic and translator, I have had the pleasure of working on Emran’s novels and short stories, and I can attest to the power and beauty of his writing. His works are a testament to the richness and complexity of Yemeni culture, and an inspiration to writers and readers everywhere.


Hatem Al-Shamea


2 thoughts on “Al-Gharbi Emran”

  1. Something is missing about Mr. Emran; the fact that he is a socially active person which made people in his area enforce him to be their representative in the Yemeni Parlement.

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