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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 World Narrowed Around Me – by Karim Al-Iraqi – translated by Hatem Al-Shamea

The World Narrowed Around Me

Like a coffin closing in,
Hope was all that kept my spirit from dying.

My friend, should I take my leave from you,
What use then would rubies be after parting?

Complaint has never been in my nature,
God as my witness, silence I will not keep.

Yet time crushed my heart beneath its weight,
Binding my hands by sorcery’s spell.

Have you seen one seemingly alive, yet dead within?
Finding strength in dreams alone.

Thus did exile and youth steal away my prime,
Concealing their faces now from mine.

My friend, I am torn asunder like Iraq,
Become a land with no safe harbour.

Make haste before this muteness mutes my song,
Lest the chance escape me as time floats by.

I speak my sighs to soothe this pain of mine,
Letting each word wound yet heal in turn.

On embers of longing’s fire I walk these nights,
No light ahead nor behind does guide my way.

Unbidden, sorrow enters deep my heart,
Rains falls though skies bear no clouding threat.

The smoldering hush, the pallor on my face,
Iraq’s long patience in affliction’s embrace.

No rest comes on any bed where I might lay,
With thoughts of Karbala ever in my fray.

She says I see you seem so blithe and singing,
Yet one like me needs tears as balm.

You know not how hard it is these tears to shed,
My pride surpasses more than flooding eyes.

Shall I bring light or deeper shadow spread, take flight?
For poems and cares alike are bed and board.

Though kings praise beauty that my words create,
A pauper ever shall my portion be.

Thousands of verses have these hands shaped,
Yet own I no small dwelling place.

If riches ever poetry did grace,
Farazdaq or Al-Jarir would have built before this place.

With flowers and love earth’s face we did adorn,
Yet sorrows vast lie buried here within.

In want and need our lives we spend,
Banners exalted after death we then shall ken.

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