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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 I Am – Esa Al-Azab – trans. Hatem Al-Shamea

Here I Am

They see me with a smiling face, and pleasant,

They see my words bleeding, in pain they suffer.

The ignorant ones say, “He vacillates,”

The lovers say, “He is infatuated.”

Some say, “He is arrogant,”

While others say, “He is enigmatic, unfathomable.”

Yet, none of them know

That within me resides a heart, scattered and mended.

And they should know that my state is their state,

I have not forgotten that they are me, and I am them.

* * *

I am a dwelling for sorrow, a refuge for grief,

My civilization lies in ruins, my history written in blood.

I am the keeper of tears, their script and language,

I am their dictionary, and the lexicon.

When the bread is mentioned on this land,

The hungry pray and send their blessings.

My ink is the lament of the destitute, my words

Are their sighs, and poetry is their divine inspiration.

In my cheeks, the gardens of paradise blossom,

And in my veins, hellfire finds solace.

* * *

Oh brothers in hunger, I understand like you do,

That speaking of food is forbidden.

And that the cries of the hungry are a great sin,

Condemned by the gluttonous oppressor.

Not everyone who holds back tears is blessed,

Nor is everyone who utters the testimony a true believer.

Not everyone with a voice has a speaking tongue,

Nor is everyone with silence deaf and dumb.

So when I am silent, do not say I am mute,

Who said silence cannot speak?

And when my words speak of me, know

That they draw from the depths of my heart.

And know that the truth lies not in what is said,

But in the fingers that reveal what the mouth conceals.

These are my wounds, stitched with verses,

Reflect upon them, and peace be upon you.

An Evening of Bliss – Entesar Hasan – trans. Hatem Al-Shamea

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