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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 Curse – by Nabiha Mahdur

The Curse

By Nabiha Mahdur

Translated by Hatem Al-Shamea

She retreated to a secluded spot, concealing the turmoil that churned within her. With each kick, regret slapped her like a stinging blow. Her forehead beaded with sweat, shards of pain tearing through her being. She cursed herself a thousand times, cursing the day she surrendered her heart, the day he painted flowers of hope, built castles of illusion, and wove dreams from spider’s silk, ensnaring her in his flimsy ropes, captivating her with his false desires.

Now, she bore the sole burden of their transgression, a consequence of a moment of weakness, exploited by her inner demon. He abandoned her, a victorious smirk etched on his face, his parting words echoing, “I disown you.”

She fell to her knees, kissing his feet, pleading, imploring, asking him by God’s name to fulfill his promises. With a contemptuous kick, he thrust her away, discarding her like the seed he had sown within her without a shred of remorse.

Her agony intensified, and her suffering amplified. She stifled her cries, realizing there was no refuge from her torment. After an excruciating ordeal, a life emerged from her womb, screaming, cursing her with each wail.

Gathering her strength, she gazed at her newborn, listening to his cries reverberating through the mountains. With trembling hands, she cradled him, tears streaming down her cheeks, tears of regret and sorrow. With withered eyes, she surveyed the desolate landscape, a reflection of her own barren soul.

She sought a crow, a creature of darkness, to conceal her shame, to teach her how to hide her transgression. With faltering steps, she trudged under the scorching midday sun, the weight of her impending fate pressing heavily upon her.

A tumultuous battle raged within her: fear, grief, and pain. Her mind was a whirlwind of uncertainty, paralyzed by indecision. Her guiding crow offered a solution, a desperate act: she cast her newborn into a roadside waste bin.

With eyes squeezed shut, she tried to block out his cries, her heart shattered by grief. She continued her journey towards the unknown, cursing herself a thousand times.

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

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