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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.

Memory – a short story by Entesar Asseri – translated by Hatem Al-Shamea


After my mind submitted its resignation and declared its departure from work, I began to suffer and endure the daily toil of searching for a new memory.

Oh, that memory! Where did it disappear to? Did I need to recall it before I went to sleep? Where are you, you elusive one?

Oh, maybe I left it on my bedside table or in my desk drawer. I rise without a clear sense of my birth date, attempting to gather the scattered fragments of myself. On the pillow, I find traces of red lipstick. Whose could it be? Oh, if I could only find that memory to identify the owner of that fragrance and red lipstick.

I make my way to the kitchen, dishes piled up in the sink, a cat leaping among empty boxes and bags, wagging its tail at me, challenging me. I stick my tongue out at it without concern for its wandering through the nooks and crannies of my kitchen. I open the refrigerator, and there’s nothing of value to eat. My attractive neighbor’s window is open, playing a Tamer Hosny song that repulses me. I approach to close the window; she’s playing with a lock of her hair, twisting it into a circle, pretending not to see me. Her ample dress clings to her body. The clattering of her lipstick echoes with Tamer’s voice. I close the window forcefully, making a sound that shakes the glass, and I hear my beautiful neighbor’s curses from behind the window.

I continue the search for the lost memory, but there is no use amid all this chaos. In the bathroom, the scent of Parisian perfume fills the space. Oh, if I could remember who it belonged to!

In the bathroom, I rearrange my rejuvenated body, leaving it to bask in the chaos without restraints. My eye catches a small black object the size of a memory. I feel the happiness of someone finding treasure on a pirate’s island. I pick it up quickly, trying to restore it to the empty recesses of my mind for the first time in a while. I press the power button, accidentally dropping it on the bathroom tiles, creating a cacophony of clashing memories. My mind does not recognize the data. I restart it again. My mind does not recognize the data. I restart it again. Oh, the images stored in that memory!

An enchanting woman, her body filled with riches, surrounded by men, and I was the last among them.

Oh, how worthless this memory is! It’s the owner of the red lipstick and Parisian perfume. Her scent infiltrates her electronic fibers. I don’t need it; it was the bathroom’s trash bin destined.

How can I go to work without my memory? How will I recognize my colleagues’ faces, or even my workplace? I put on my clothes, wear cologne, look at my reflection in the mirror, and contemplate the scattered features of my face. I smile to discover a new expression that suits my first day without my electronic memory, an image now in harmony with my sunken eyes and a nose that no longer fits my face, resembling the nose of my African neighbor. I recall that he had taken my nose yesterday and placed it on his face to persuade the plastic surgeon to shape a similar one. My face holds a dry, sun-damaged complexion, most likely due to excessive sun exposure. I wonder, what is my job?

I leave the house, heading towards the memory store at the end of the street to purchase a new one, and the seller stares at me, shouting:
– Here’s the owner of the missing memory, officer! Arrest him before he escapes. He’s here to buy a new memory to erase the evidence of his killing his beautiful neighbor and slaughtering her in the bathroom of his home.

Black Sack – by Ali Abdullah Al-Ajri

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