The girl and the Butterfly

She saw in her dream,

the rare butterfly

so she sat on the mountain peak

and painted on the sky

the image of the butterfly

her wings made of rainbow

her eyes made of raindrops


she sat there and waited,


the butterfly flew above the heights

and spread in her sky

the northern lights.


Ashna Shareff

The Solitude

She was the solitude

going back and forth

between imagination and reality

until the stranger came along

altered her world,

with every act of kindness

and what did she give him?

few unspoken words

on a blank paper.


 Ashna Shareff

Celebrate your achievements

All my life, I have been a hard working student. I have always had passion for reading, especially for poetry and prose. I remember when two of my sisters were at school (both older), I would often take their books and read them, especially if it was a book of poetry or short stories. There was one poem that I liked most about a village girl written by Goran, one of the most famous Kurdish poets of all times. I can still recall parts of the poem.

I was sent to school when I was five, I was pretty young and I have had a really hard time at school. Like many kids, first year of school was terrifying to me, the environment, experience, everything was so new and I just wanted to fit in. I don’t remember every detail about my first year, but I do remember one particular day very well.

That day, I walked slowly to class, it was one dreary autumn afternoon. I took my seat which was at the very end (I have always been taller than most of my classmates, so I had to sit in the back, which I hated).

My teacher who was a young harsh women walked into the class, for some reason she would NEVER smile, I don’t know why. She walked in and straight slammed the door. I immediately started crying, screaming, and asking my teacher to open the door. At that moment, I was frightened, the weather outside was gloomy, and the class was somewhat dark, and I was just a kid, all that scared me.

Guess what she did?

She walked towards me, and slapped me hard on the face. Yes, can you believe that?

In that instant, I cried even harder, and run out of the class to home, to not return to it. I remember I was crying on the road calling for my dad, my hideout. After telling my parents of what happened, I decided to quit school. My parents tried to convince me of going back, but I was determined, I wouldn’t go back.

So I didn’t.  After one year I returned to school, fortunately my teacher was no longer there.

For quite sometime, I was bullied among my relatives for missing education for one year and being such a coward ( we all have been bullied for one thing or another, haven’t we? I ironic, I know).

When I was a teenager, I really wanted to find my teacher and slap her right on the face, so she would understand how it feels to slap a frightened five years old girl.

But, years passed, and instead I made a commitment to study hard and get both my Bachelor and Master.

Determined I was, I got a good education at UKH, majored in politics and international relations. And straight after graduation, I applied for Masters in the same filed. Within a year, I finished my MA and graduated with honor (2014).
When I look back, I see my childhood scars small, but I do appreciate having them, I really do. And I have to thank my relatives  and  my classmates,  those who bullied me during my childhood. Because of them, I’ve became the person I am today.

If life was as easy as the flowing river, I wouldn’t have achieved all the things I have now and I wouldn’t dream big. 🙂


Autumn Day

Do you still remember the autumn day?

when you were lying down among the leaves

the rain fell gently to touch your skin

the scent of the wet dust,

intensely attached to your palms

Green, yellow, and orange trees

moved from side to side in your breeze


that day you thought,

“What a beautiful world!”


Do you still go back in time,

to that autumn day?


Ashna Shareff

My words and their meanings

I spent last night thinking about my favorite words in Kurdish, English, Arabic, and Korean. I have never really thought about my favorite words before, so it was a kind of practice for me; but since writing is my passion, words are very important to me.

words can be as devastating as destructive weapons or as sweet and warm as a mother’s love.

I love learning different languages.

When you speak a new language you become part of a new culture and you will be able to understand its history.


I speak three langues only, Kurdish that’s my native language, Arabic because I am surrounded by Arab countries so it was important for me to learn the language, and English because I love it.

However, currently I am teaching myself Korean, and I have to say I JUST LOVE IT. Though, it’s a little difficult to learn.

Words always sympathize something, they give meaning and value to a particular object. And the reason why we love some words over others is because they either remind us of something or someone remarkable in our lives.

And sometimes, we love the words just for their meanings.

To me, it’s mostly because of the stories behind the words.

So I am happy to share some of my favorite words in Kurdish, English, Arabic, and Korean.

I will give each word its meaning in English just in case you don’t understand Kurdish, Arabic, or Korean.

My favorite words in Kurdish:

Jargo: (liver) I never thought I would like this word someday, but the word reminds me of all the great people in my life and thanks to them, I love this word now. My friends and I call each other Jargo, so that makes us all Jargos.

Shirin: (Sweetness) The meaning says it all.

Daya: (mom) I’m positive that every Kurd loves the word.

Baran: (Rain) Because I love rain, because the word brings tranquility and joy to me even though rain is noisy, but noisy in a good way (like echoes of rain).

Galla: (leaf) Because each leaf recalls a story of its own.

Azadi: (freedom) Because I strive for.

Papula: (butterfly) Believe it or not I always see white butterflies around me no matter where I go, and I take that as a good sign from God.

Baba: (dad) The word is smooth, and because my dad is the only man who’s been able to touch my heart wholly so far.

My favorite words in English:

Peculiar: Because I am.

Moon: Because I talk to every chance I get, because it gives me hope and an ear to listen to my stories before I tell them to anyone.

Fly:  Because I am determined not to settle unless I find my sense of belonging in the world.

Hope: The word itself gives me hope

Faith: Because I live by it.

Beyond: I like the word for its pronunciation, but I also like it because I always tend to look beyond the ordinary and want people to see beyond what I appear to be.

Aurora: Simply beauty of the universe! I am hoping one day I will see it with my eyes.

My favorite words in Arabic:


مغامرة :  (adventure) Because I love challenges and going on adventures.

الطبيعة: ( nature) Because I love everything in nature, nature reminds me of who I am.

حالم: (dreamer) Because I am.

My favorite words in Korean:-

I am still a beginner, so am going to share few words among those that I’ve learnt so far.

 Chingu: (friend) Because I have so many great friends in my life, and they mean SO much to me.

Saranghaeyo: ( I love you) Because I love so many people and I love my dreams, they are very precious to me.

Nnuen: (I) The word is very simple, I like it, and I am a firm believer that if you’re not able to use I confidently, then you won’t be able to stand up for anyone including yourself or anything in life.

Bogo Sipda: (to miss someone) I like the pronunciation of the word. Note that the “S” is read as “Sh”.

I can’t wait to learn new words in Kurdish (because even though I am a Kurd, I still feel there are words that I need to learn), Arabic, English, and Korean. I can’t wait to share new words, new meaning and new stories behind the words.

What about you? What are your favorite words?

Beautiful leaves, nature has a lot to offer

Autumn Tree

The tree has grown taller

and the leaves have turned yellow

under the shadow of the tall tree

she lay her head over his shoulder

those wrinkled hands

tenderly holding her hands


Why does time pass by so fast?

she thinks..

a lot she wants to say and do

to unfold the odd relationship

between the two.


Ashna Shareff