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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.

Surprise – by Nabilah Al-Sheikh – trans: Hatem Al-Shamea


For a stretch of time, he had been circling around me, and I, consumed by my own concerns, scarcely acknowledged his presence. Yet, his proximity escalated, his attempts to draw near adopting a veneer of friendliness. I articulated my unequivocal refusal, branding his overtures as an act of desperation. While I dismissed the situation entirely, convinced that he had come to terms with the futility of his pursuits, an unforeseen decision had been made.

I remain uncertain whether this was a premeditated scheme or an impromptu act of retaliation. Perhaps it was the erratic cadence of his heart, beyond his control, that propelled him forward. In an unanticipated moment, devoid of any forewarning, he materialized. As swift as lightning, he closed the gap, and, before I could fathom his intent, he imprinted a kiss upon my cheek.

His audacity and the suddenness of his surprise left me seething with anger, rendering me incapable of orchestrating a composed response. Yet, without dwelling on my actions and spurred by instinct, I executed a swift and unexpected countermove, mirroring the surprise of his own strategy, and brought him down with unwavering determination.

Balm – Nabilah Al-Sheikh – trans: Hatem Al-Shamea

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