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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.

I Came From Sheba


Abdulkareem Al-Ofairi

I came from Sheba, reciting my rhyme,

Wandering in lovestruck bliss so sublime

Inebriated in rapture that makes senses reel

As though lost in time’s unmindful wheel

I gave her my soul, holding nothing behind

For her sake, I think nothing too dear to find

I reveled in her beauty for ages untold\

She welcomed me in her arms, gentle and bold

She embraced me without fear or shame

Her lips rained on me wine and honeyed flame

Until my mouth was lost in her sweet lips

I sank in waves of passion’s deep eclipse

On her bosom I found my head resting

And in her mouth’s softness, my ships were nesting

It was I who was smitten by her charm

Is there any temptation but her to disarm?

By God, none can equal her likeness\

Above this earth, now and for time’s fullness

I left her with tears of ardor streaming

My heart cries in wilderness, wildly dreaming

God knows I’ll never leave her behind

It was my soul that left, though my body declined

Mourn in black, braid strands of her hair

To wrap my body, my chosen death shroud wear

Bury my corpse in the dust of her soul’s place

Mark my grave “Lover of Yemen” to trace

I recited love’s verses in her shrine\

In scripture, tradition and odes so fine

Have you heard the legend of Arwa al-Sulayhi?

None but she held power under heaven’s sky

Her palace throne rivaled Balqis the Great

Desired by all who enter Sanaa’s gate

Why is she afflicted now with such pain?

Crying violations and tyranny’s bane?

Aden, her veins bleed from oppression’s cut

In Sana’a, Hell’s furnace makes anguish erupt

Take heart my Queen, smile through Qahtan’s drought,

Embrace me, for our separation makes me fraught.

With Balqis’s vision, I came dressed in armor,

Bearing the sword of ironclad valor

I’m envoy of my land in her torment

And voice of her freedom round the earth sent

If I could choose where to take birth\

I’d say “O world, I’m proudly Yemeni”.

translated by

Hatem Al-Shamea Sounding the Alarm from the Abyss: A Critique of Yemeni Patriarchy in Asseri’s Short Story,”The Hole”

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