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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.

Here and Now – Mahmoud Darwish


Here and Now

by Mahmoud Darwish

translated by Hatem Al-Shamea



Here, among the fragments of something
And nothing, we live
On the outskirts of eternity.

Sometimes, we play chess, and we do not
Care about the fates beyond the door.
We are still here
Building from the ruins
Dovecotes of lunar pigeons.

We know the past, and we do not move forward,
Nor do we spend summer nights seeking
The golden chivalries of yesterday.
We are who we are, and we do not ask
Who we are, for we are still here,
Mending the robe of eternity.

We are children of the hot-cold air
And water, and children of earth, fire, and light,
And the land of human whims.

We have half a life
And half a death,
And projects of immortality… and identity.

Patriots, like olives,
Yet we are weary of the image of the narcissus
In the water of national songs.

Romantics, unintentionally,
Lyrical, intentionally,
Yet we have forgotten the words of romantic songs.

Here, in the company of meaning,
We rebelled against form,
And changed the ending of the play.

We are in the extra act,
Natural, ordinary,
We do not monopolize God
Nor the tears of the victim.

We are still here,
And we have great dreams, like
Luring the wolf to play the guitar
At an annual dance party.

And we have small dreams, like
Waking up from sleep, free from disappointment.
We did not dream of unattainable things.

We are alive and remaining… and the dream continues.

Here, in what remains of God’s words
On the rock,
We recite words of gratitude at night and at dawn,
For the unseen may hear us, and inspire
One of us with a verse of the eternal hymn.


Now, between yesterday and tomorrow, a woman washes
The house’s glass. She neither forgets nor remembers.

Now, the sky is clear.

Now, a friend asks me: what is happiness now?
Then rushes away before the answer.

Now, between yesterday and tomorrow, a wavering and temporary isthmus.
Time stands still, as if it pauses for a moment between two homes.

Now, the country is beautiful and light.

Now, the hills rise to nurse the translucent clouds
And hear the inspiration. And tomorrow is the lot of the perplexed.

Now, our yesterday polishes a lunar stone icon.

Now, we live the past and tomorrow together. And we walk in
Two directions that may exchange a poetic greeting.

Now, the meaning has the scratches of the broken present like geography.

Now, in the nap of small time, eternity
Changes the sacred names. No prophet on
The coastal road.

Now, a poet is born among us, and he may choose a mother to know himself.

Now, the present sprouts from a pomegranate flower.

Now, the horizon belongs to the swallows alone.

Now, you are two, you are three, twenty,
A thousand, how do you know in your crowd who you are?

Now, you were
Now, you will be
So know who you are… to be.

Here… and now.

Here and now… history does not care for trees
And the dead. Trees must rise, and not
Resemble each other in height and extent.

And the dead, here and now, must replicate
Their names, must know how to die individually.

And the living must live in groups, and not
Know how they will live without a written myth…
To save them from the stumbling blocks of soft reality and the science of realism.
And they must say:

We are still here
Watching a piercing star

In every letter of the alphabet.
And they must sing:

We are still here
Bearing the burden of eternity.


Map of Sorrow and Wind – Ahmed Abdo – trans. Hatem Al-Shamea

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