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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.



Fatima Wahidi

Her self-esteem and unwavering confidence in her abilities were the secrets behind her certainty that her life would inevitably change for the better. She grew up among her sisters and peers, close in resemblance to them, but she always felt different.

Her wish came true the day she saw him: a young, handsome man with a smiling face. The scent of his cologne filled the air, and he decided to establish his own home and get married.

He’s here, his eyes scanning the place, while she sat there, enveloped in shyness. She’s afraid he might choose someone else, leaving her heartbroken. As he approached her slowly, he looked at her intently, turning aside to whisper some words to his mother. She shyly lifted her face and stole a glance at him before bowing her head again, hoping that he will choose her, especially since she fell in love with him from the first moment.

He stepped back a little, standing just a few steps away from her, smiling and pointing at her. She shuddered with joy and feels like she was flying. He paid her dowry without hesitation. She closed her eyes and dreamt of a rosy life with him.

She felt that all her dreams had come true the moment she enters his house.

At first, he treated her tenderly and his gentle touches made her feel loved. But as the days passed, he changed quickly and began to treat her with indifference, then harshly and violently, twisting her neck mercilessly. Her tears flowed, her cries were choked, but he didn’t care and became even more violent, ignoring the pain in her heart.

She grew to abhor her own servility, so she decided to stop submitting to him and reclaim her freedom. When he came to her one day, she surprised him with her silence. He looked at her with disgust, sparks flying from his eyes; coldness of fear ran through her body. He got angry and threatened her, then left her alone.

She felt that she had made the right decision, but the terrifying sound of his footsteps told her that things were getting worse. She considered reversing her decision and going back to the way things were before, giving without expecting anything in return. But before she could make up her mind, she heard his steps approaching again.

He entered hastily, advanced towards her, surprised her, raised his hand, and hit her head with a hammer. She felt great pain and dizziness, causing her to lose her ability to speak. He showed no mercy, continuing to strike her head with quick and violent blows.

He left her no choice and shed the last drop of love she had for him. She realized that she could no longer continue living with him.

For the first time, he felt powerless in the face of her stubbornness, and so he left her. From a window overlooking the neighbours, the voice of Umm Kulthum reached her, singing: ‘Word for word, when passion has gone with the wound.’ She wonders how he could have ever surpassed her love for him, and how love turned into heart paining.

She heard him nervously speaking about her, held back her tears, and felt that no one could mediate in healing the rift he created in her heart. He had exhausted his last chance with her. 

Umm Kulthum resumed her singing: “Do you still think that my heart will trust you… that was only in the past.”

She no longer had tears, she accepted his neglect and cruelty, but he had humiliated and maimed her. Time passed slowly, and silence took over the place. Suddenly, she heard a voice of a stranger in the house, entering with her husband, approaching her, pointing at her, saying: “Here she is!” Then, gone and left her alone with the stranger!

She looked at the stranger in astonishment and asked him, ‘What are you going to do with me?’ He ignored her conversation, lit his cigarette, blew the smoke, and reached out to touch her. She trembled, paralyzed by the horror of surprise.

He hummed an incomprehensible tune, gazed at her for a long while, and then turned to him [her husband] with a sarcastic tone, asking, ‘What did you do to it? It’s no longer usable. You need to buy a new ‘faucet.’ It will only take a few minutes to replace. Will you buy it, or will you give me this task?’

She flounced and wished to tell him, ‘No… one victim is enough. Don’t go after my sisters and leave them to rest happily on the shelves of the store. Each one of them is cherishing her dream of a better future. Do not assassinate other hopes with your cruelty.’

Translated by

Hatem Al-Shamea

same writer

1 thought on “Assassination”

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