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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 Studio – Nabilah Al-Sheikh – trans. Hatem Al-Shamea

The Studio

At noon, the crowd was immense and they were lined up in front of the post office window, eagerly awaiting their salaries. During the wait, they counted their debts, speculated how much of their meagre salaries would be left and discussed their financial predicaments. One woman stood out in the line – her veil barely covering her nose and bulging eyes, as she held out her card in front of me. Her lips seemed to have never smiled before, and it was evident that she had been through some difficult times. Her face was creased and worn from life’s hardships, and she walked away with nothing but a miserable curve on her lips. Meanwhile, the opposite line was filled with a young girl who had rosy lips and a graceful visage. I couldn’t help but imagine her after forty years, when her attractive smile would have faded away due to a long, arduous life.
The passage of time had left its mark on her hair which was now wrinkled and curled. Her lips no longer resembled a rainbow or a crescent of harvest or separation. There were tears scattered across her face and the refractions of her life were no longer like a reflection of light, but rather a reflection of darkness. Life had been cruelled to her, just as a mother may force her child to forgo his favorite drink by using aloe vera to wean him from her teat. In the same way, this woman had to face the dullness and pain of life, with the only conviction being that one day she would have to depart, just like the child who was taken away from the comforting embrace of his mother’s milk.
I could now observe a skilled painter standing before every two lips in the world, applying the final touches to their painting before death could arrive at the zero moment. Oh, what a grand studio we inhabit; with such a talented painter, we do not detect the way he silently applies his colors and lines to our work. I could feel my lips quivering beneath the brush that continued its labor in silence. Then, the postman shouted at me, “Your card!”

No Name No Address – Najat Ba Hakeem – trans. Hatem Al-Shamea

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