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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.

Escape of a Corpse – a short story by Entesar Asseri – trans. by Hatem Al-Shamea

Escape of a Corpse

Its threads sneaked through the gaps in the curtains, flirting with the bare hairs on his chest. He felt their pricks, tossed on the edge of the bed, his eyelids heavy as if they didn’t know if he had been sleeping for a day or two in the depths of slumber. He tried to gather his scattered thoughts.

The events of that night continued to encircle him—the sound of the motorcycle colliding with a lamppost, shattering into pieces on the side of the road, chasing him. He thought what had happened was just a nightmare, yet its events persisted, haunting him. He was losing parts of his body scattered by the impact, but his ten fingers remained intact. He thanked God for this blessing. The remnants of bruised blue marks adorned his left thigh.

He looked towards the alarm clock, realizing he was running late for work. He was puzzled by the absence of the alarm clock’s sound. He shook off his blanket, stood before the mirror. Scratches covered his face like an unclear surrealist painting. His arm ached as he turned toward the bathroom. The shower water flowed over his body, refreshing him. He scrubbed his head and body to wash away the blood stains. Locks of his hair fell, merging with the water and shampoo foam on his body. He could hear only the water’s murmurs—silence, nothing else. He cursed that silence.

He returned to his room. His clothes were scattered on the floor, stained with blood. A golden necklace hung on his shirt, and his books were strewn next to the remains of coffee cups on the table. One of them had lipstick marks, and his hand reached for a half-eaten apple, biting it, silencing the cry of his stomach.

He played a Fairouz song on his mobile, but no sound emanated from it. Had Fairouz’s voice been silenced, or had the device stopped working? He attempted to raise the volume, fear conquering his heart. He put on clean clothes from his wardrobe in haste and left his house.

In the middle of the street, children played, people came and went, street vendors moved their lips and hands without sound, and cars without honks. The coffee shop radio produced no noise. Only life passed in silence, a silent movie starring itself, and the silence killed everything around. He rubbed his ears but heard nothing but the silence, so quiet…

In front of his workplace, he bought a copy of Al-Ayyam newspaper from the Freedom kiosk. He skimmed through the headlines, pausing at one in the accidents section:

“The search for the motorcycle driver’s body continues.” He read from the lines:
“A young man in his twenties was riding a motorcycle at a frantic speed, collided with a lamppost. The accident led to his death and the girl accompanying him. The disappearance of the young man’s body remains a puzzling mystery for the criminal investigators. The girl’s body has been transported to the public morgue…”

The newspaper slipped from his hands. Its edges fell apart, his body’s flesh peeled off, and the street was engulfed by the stench of a decaying corpse.

Exploring the Fragile Tapestry of Memory: An Analysis of Entesar Asseri’s ‘Memory’ – by Hatem Al-Shamea

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