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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.

The Appointment – by Saeed Mohammed Al-Hammadi

The Appointment

She gazed at the walls of her room, feeling a sense of confinement. Dishevelled clothes lay scattered on the bed and shelves. Her eyes turned towards the four-door wardrobe, and her reflection appeared in the mirror. It was a beautiful image, with a slender nose, prominent lips, circular black eyes, and a bronze complexion. Smooth black hair cascaded down, and she began to lament: “Why haven’t I married yet? Where is the knight of my dreams? I have rejected many who have proposed to me. Why did I do that? Was it my studies filling the void, or was it pride?” Yesterday, as I passed by the M.Y. Company in Tahrir Square, I caught a glimpse of the information desk employee behind the glass, and I don’t know how my eyes fell upon him. He had a broad face, blue eyes, and rosy cheeks. I will cast a glance at that sign to take down the company’s number.
She put on her cloak and veiled her face, then left the house. She approached the sign, took down the company’s number, and cast her glances at the employee who sat above his chair, only his face visible.

She returned home, pressed the phone numbers, and heard a voice:

“Hello… Good evening.”

She was nervous, her nerves tense, her heartbeats escalating. She couldn’t reply. He repeated:

“Hello. Who am I speaking to?”

She let out her voice with sweetness:

“Hello… Excuse me, do you sell cosmetics?”

“Yes, madam! How may we assist you?”

“Yes, my friend has a beauty shop and she wants to buy a set of cosmetics.”

“We are at your service and hers. She can visit us anytime, and we will provide her with a special discount.”

“Thank you. That’s very kind of you.”

“It’s our pleasure. Our company values its esteemed customers. But may I know your name?”


“We don’t often meet customers as kind as you.”

“Thank you.”
She hung up the phone, a smile gracing her lips. Her cheeks blushed with a rosy hue. Her dreams were rosy too. She felt her femininity and the arrival of her knight in shining armor through the phone receiver. That face she had seen through the glass, could it be him? Surely, because the phone never left his side.

The employee placed the receiver down, imagining her as a slender figure with a voice that hinted at beauty. He imagined her with fair skin, rosy cheeks, honey-colored or blue wide eyes, and long, silky hair. Oh, how beautiful that voice was. He must meet her in his dreams tonight. They would roam the world together, and he would pick the most beautiful flowers for her. Working in the beauty field made one happy. He thought for a moment, “I must try to contact her.”

His phone rang. He picked up the receiver. He said, “I apologize for the intrusion, but I wanted to hear your voice and talk to you more, even if it’s just for one meeting. You can come to the company to see the new models that have recently arrived.”

She replied, “You want us to meet at your workplace?”

“If it doesn’t bother you, I would prefer your presence at 10 o’clock in the morning.”
The alarm rang at six in the morning. She woke up, pulled out her best suit from her wardrobe, set it aside, and headed to the kitchen. She placed the embers on the fire until they turned red, picked them up with tongs, and placed them on the clay censer. She selected the finest Adeni incense and placed it on the embers. Thick smoke with a fragrant scent rose, permeating the adjacent rooms. The smoke seeped into her body and clothes, as the meeting time drew near. She put on her black cloak and veiled her face, folding her head with a black shawl. She hung her bag on her left shoulder and headed towards the company. She entered and approached the information desk, where she saw an elegantly dressed officer with blue eyes and a broad face. He turned towards her, stood up from his chair, and stood before her. His height did not exceed a meter. She looked at him in astonishment, unable to comprehend the situation. Her strength faltered, and she fainted.

Translated by Hatem Al-ShameaAl-Thajjah – a Novel written by Fikria Shahrah – trans. by Hatem Al-Shamea

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