Latest News:
  • 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.

Fear – Nabilah Al-Sheikh – trans. Hatem Al-Shamea


I asked him, “How old are you?” He replied, “Seven years.”
As I watched, a bare-chested child wearing shabby, torn pants passed me, carrying a heavy brick. He appeared weak and small enough to be working instead of playing with toys like our children. I followed him with my heart and observed his wide brown eyes and heartbreaking story. I stepped closer to him and inquired, “What is your name?”
He replied, “Basim.” I thought to myself how often these names are used as a cover. He glanced at me and continued carrying the brick, his careless and angry gaze looking as if he was telling me: “Do not pity us, leave us. We will live without you.” His small, cute eyes glimmered with sadness. I approached him, feeling ashamed, and asked, “Is this brick too heavy?”
He picked up another brick and shot me a glance as if to say, “It’s not more difficult than you think.” I looked at his small, calloused hands and wished I could hug him, but he was soiled.
“How are you treating your lovely son? Don’t you think about sending him to school?” I asked with moist eyes.
She replied sadly, “His father was killed by an unidentified bullet while selling clothes on his roving cart. The fatal bullet did not know that he had a two-year-old son and a twenty-eight-year-old wife!”

My sympathy increased, “You are so brave. You work with honor. What crime has your child committed to be deprived of schooling? He will be swallowed up in such a corrupt crowd.”
“I went to wealthy homes and cleaned their bathrooms and scrubbed their houses that never stayed silent from daily raucous parties. Yet I left them when they tried to damage my dignity with their quarrels,” she uttered the last word that choked her with a painfully bitter lesson.
I found that they had formed a strong bond with the bricks, the chill in the air, the hunger, the hardness of the stones, and the burning scent of cement that ignited a sense of pride. As I said my farewell, I tried to express my heartfelt gratitude with words, but they felt feeble and inadequate. When looking at the innocent child, I smiled in an attempt to bring a smile to his face, but instead, he returned a sad goodbye look that hastened my departure. It seemed to be saying, ‘Thank you for being here, even if it was in absentia’.

The Gravedigger – Sameer Abdelfattah – trans. Hatem Al-Shamea

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart