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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.



Set in Al-Thajjah, a scenic mountainous region in Yemen, Al-Thajjah depicts the lives of two neighboring families, the Al-Ibbis and the Al-Radhis, across generations. The novel explores themes of land disputes, tribal politics, and changing social norms in a region with deep-rooted traditions.

Through vivid descriptions and compelling characters, the story portrays the families’ intertwining histories from Yemen’s Ottoman era up to recent times. It follows members of the Al-Ibbi family, in particular schoolteacher Mokhtar, as they strive to hold on to their lands despite the machinations of the increasingly powerful Al-Radhi family. Against a backdrop of war, rising extremism, and family feuds, the novel offers a glimpse into village life and the struggles of ordinary Yemenis living through turbulent times.

With warmth and insight, acclaimed writer Fikria Shahrah crafts an absorbing multi-generational family saga centered around inheritance, honor, and enduring bonds to land and heritage. Al-Thajjah is a nuanced exploration of identity, tribal politics, and cultural change set in one of Yemen’s most scenic regions.


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