Short Story Cultural Week [Archives:2000/17/Culture]

April 24 2000

Yasser M. Ahmed,
Yemen Times
The capital city of Sana’a recently witnessed a major literary event. A week long short story festival was organized by story club in collaboration with Yemeni Authors Union, Sana’a branch, from 8 to 12 of April, 2000.
There were a number of stimulating sessions in the cultural week for story in which authors dilated upon the history and important landmarks of the Yemeni short story tradition as well as the problems faced by authors.
The short story writer Zeid Motea’a Damaj, Shafegha Zughari, and Ahmed Mahfouz Omar were honored along with some budding talented children.
A number of short story writers as Arwa Abdo Othman, Huda Al-Attas, Mahasin Al-Hawati, Entisar Al-Harith, Bushra Al-Maktari, Nadia Al- Kawkabani, Riya Ahmed, Nora Zeila, Naseem Al-Surmi, and Dina Al-Jabali discussed a number of stories that reflect their experiments with this popular genre. The focus of these stories the contemporary social ethos. All the speakers highlighted the role of the new generation of Yemeni story writers.
Dr. Amna Yosief and Mr. Abdulbari Taher presented a critical analysis on some stories mention may be made about the story of Mahfoz Omar. Yemeni singers participation enlivened the element of the event.
An important sidelight of the event was the inclusion of a special section on the children’s stories. Many talented children delivered their creation in the narration evening. Narrator Abdulrahman Abdulkhaliq presented a brilliant review of short stories about children.
In a brief discussion with Yemen Times in the story club, the chairman of the preparation committee, Mr. Mohammed Al-Azi Amran said: “I am opposite those who say that the story as a literary form is declining. On the contrary, it is witnessing development. During the 1950s and the 1960s, story was traditional classical, but now it is new because there are a number of talented young writers who are interested in exploring new horizons in poetry and short stories.
Regarding the criticisms against the new generation, it may be pointed out that, poetry and story are two different literary genres. The problem here is how to distinguish them. Some young people have started to write stories which border on close to poetry. There is no ambiguity regarding the short story because it is a popular genre.
I do not distinguish between the literature written by women or that of men. It is a mistake to make this difference. The aim of the reader is to communicate with the foreign newspapers to make all people well aware of the contemporary Yemeni literature”.
Story writer Ahmed Mahfouz Omar: “I can not adequately articulate how overwhelmed I feel to be honored here. All I can say is to thank all the participants and those who bestowed on me this honor. From the bottom of my heart I thank the preparation committee of the club. I am, indeed very grateful to them for this honor. I am sure the new generation will make a distinctive contribution to the annals of our literature. When life develops, everything will develop. I hope to see many literary authors bosom in future”.