Rihanna Said It Best

“OOOOO, Na Na What’s My Name? What’s My Name? What’s My Name?”

One thing’s for certain: our founder’s difficult name! Her parents named her Klavish Ali Haji. Ali originating from her father’s first name and Haji deriving from his father’s first name (her grandfather). Her name has numerous pronunciations and makes it all the more confusing being spelled with the letter “K”.

The western pronunciation of her name is “Guh-luh-vish”. This is the name she has been referred to her whole life.

The authentic pronunciation and meaning of Klavish’s name varies across what part of Kurdistan one is from.

Her father is from Northern Iraq and her name is pronounced “Gl-ah-vij” in the Bahdini dialect.

Her husband is from a predominantly Sorani city of Northern Iraq where they pronounce her name “Gl-ah-wij”. Her name is a common Kurdish name referring to the months July/August. We mention two months because the people of Kurdistan follow the lunar calendar and dates/months vary from year to year.

Funny story, when she and her husband met in college he couldn’t pronounce her name and decided to call her “Gula” which means flower. He continues to call, Klavish, Gula till this day. Fortunately, he has learned the correct pronunciation of her name! 

And wait, the different pronunciations and meanings don’t end here! Her mother is a Syrian Kurd. The people of Syria refer to Klavish as “Guhl-ov-vehj” Which means throwing flowers; kind of like a flower girl.

Newly married, Klavish Ali Faraj, responds to all the above pronunciations and embraces her unique name.

We like to think of her name as the good ol’ route “root” or route “rout” argument. Or even that Django word. Why is the D present? Guess that’ll be the eighth wonder of the world.

How do you pronounce route? Be sure to comment below.



  • @Dilman: Rowt? Interesting! I have never heard it pronounced that way!

    @Zuzan: SOOO good to know! I guess we will have to place the pronunciation of our names in parenthesis next to the legal spelling just like they do in dictionaries! #EverydayStruggles

  • @ Dilman: OMG! I can totally relate. When the doctor asks for my first name after already giving it! lol.

    @Semhar: Agreed!

    @Dana Faraj: Don Don, I love you HUBS!

  • People never pronounce my name correctly either. It’s pronounced “Sue-Zon” but I know the “Z’s” in my name can throw them off.

  • Hey Gula ?????

    Dana Faraj
  • Foreigner probs! I’ve struggled with this too, but wouldn’t change it for the world!


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