Latest News:
  • 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.

Zahr al-Gharam



Zahr Al-Gharam is a novel that explores themes of social class divisions and forbidden love in Yemeni society. The story revolves around the beautiful and talented Zahr Al-Gharam, who is born into the marginalized Akhdam social caste. Despite her low social status, Zahr supports her family by singing at weddings with her lovely voice.
At one wedding, she attracts the attention of Habib Addin, who comes from the high-class and influential Assadah family. Habib falls deeply in love with Zahr after hearing her sing. However, their relationship is deemed unacceptable due to the vast divide between their social statuses. As a member of the elite Assadah family, Habib is expected to marry within his own class.
The novel chronicles Habib and Zahr’s struggle against the rigid barriers that seek to keep them apart. As their forbidden love blossoms, they face intense opposition from their families and society. Al-Areqi uses their star-crossed romance to shed light on the prejudices faced by Yemen’s marginalized Akhdam community. He highlights the human costs of a social hierarchy that places certain groups outside the bounds of dignity and compassion. The story provides cultural insights into class, identity and the challenges of pursuing love across divided lines in Yemeni society. Zahr al-Gharam says, “My lamp, which illuminated the course of my life, went out after instilling in me the flame of dignity that our people often lack. I have found through experience that when humiliation is present, dignity fades and the depths of humiliation are swallowed up. Although I expected his death, I did not succumb to sorrow, but rather strengthened my resolve to take on the responsibility of raising my children alone, without any weapons or assistance apart from my own will. My children are my cubs, providing me with the determination to challenge the injustice of their society, which perceives us as a black mark on their lives.
For fifteen years, I lived with Habib al-Din and was filled with a happiness I had never before dreamed of. He was like an angel sent from heaven, teaching the values of equality between humans and extending a hand of kindness to those who were considered untouchable. This equality, which religions strive for, is often rejected by those with fossilized mindsets. I came to understand that love is the only way to bridge the gaps between all people.”


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Zahr al-Gharam”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart
Zahr al-Gharam