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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.

Stripped of Power


Stripped of Power

by Mohammed Al-Shahat

translated by Hatem Al-Shamea



Stripped of Power

I resisted my weakness
As I watched my eye,
Spinning over women’s breasts
And charms emerging without restraint
From garments that revealed more than they concealed

Declaring its desire
Raising banners of lust
To invade your feelings, to rise up
To shatter all barriers
And begin the battle of the night’s storm

You feel within armies
Have readied weapons of conquest
And volcanoes erupted within you,
Not settling down
You sense being filled with desires.
If you don’t rein them in
Will smash all walls and escape

But power,
When you try to summon it to begin
Is not enough
You cannot unleash
From inaction to action

So you signal your troops to turn
And retreat backwards
To withdraw

You will not enter a battle
All omens foresee
Defeat of all your soldiers

You didn’t regard what time had wrought
Upon your face
Except when you glimpsed your features
As you retreated your physique

You feel abilities
Have been withdrawn from you
And that the years if passed
Take a part of your energy

You are now without power
Stripped of ability
So sit, shattered

Don’t let your thoughts depart your head
And return to you laden with desires
For no sooner do they enter you a little,
And try to push you to rise up
And move your powerless ability fails
Falling then rising
Taking time,
To lean on the wall
Imploring not to expose you
And arouse them
They don’t regard you
And the desire extinguishes

And your power withdrew to its chapel
I tried to follow it
It was weeping
And I saw gallows erected for desires
Many I recognized
Graveyards guarded by troops of ability
Lest they escape again

I used to question myself
Where do desires go
When they enter me
Now I know

I returned to my mind
So my heart won’t react
And my eye won’t look at
Charms emerging without restraint
From garments
That revealed more than they concealed.


The Quarantine Philosopher – Wajdi Al-Ahdal – trans. Hatem Al-Shamea

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