|Ivan's Unofficial Biography|
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Ivanís Unofficial biography- By Ann-Margret Yonan
Ivan Kakovitch-December 9, 1933-December 22, 2006
Ivan Kakovitch was born in Kiev, Ukrain, on December 9, 1933, just a few months after the Simele Massacre. In 1938, at the age of 5, Ivanís family moved to Kazakstan and Ivan begins primary school. In 1944, at the age of 11, the family moves again, but this time to Tehran, Iran. Ivanís parents were originally from mata DíMar Beeshoo, but Ivan had never been to the homeland. He settles with his family in Iran and attends San Louis French Parochial school, with his two brothers, Thoma and Shurik.
In 1956, at the age of 23, Ivan travels to France and studies classical literature. A few years later, he moves to Strasburg, to further his education in the classics. In 1959, at the age of 26, Ivan moves to Washington, D.C.. and obtains work at the Berlitz School of Languages. He teaches Russian, French, and Farsi. He also works at the Voice of America simultaneously, interpreting and translating in Russian, French, and Farsi.
In 1968, Ivan decides to move to Hartford, Connecticut, and opens his own school of languages, called Babel. After a few years of running the school, Ivan decides to move back to Washington, where most of his family lived. While living in Washington, Ivan became even more active in the Assyrian community, and in 1977, wrote the Assyrian Manifesto, a blue print for the formation of an Assyrian Interim Government. Ivan presented the manifesto to a gathering of Assyrian political entities in Chicago, in the late 1970ís. Some of the Assyrian political organizations such as AUA and Bet-Nahrain Democratic Party were enthusiastic and supportive of Ivan. It was decided at that meeting that Ivan would be sent back to Washington to set-up an office for ICAN, (International Confederation of Assyrian Nation). Some of the Assyrian political organizations did support the ICAN office financially, but after just a few short months, they sent a letter to Ivanís Washington office, saying, ďDear ICAN, WE CANíTĒ. With no more support coming, Ivan closed the Washington office
Ivan was disappointed, but never gave up the idea of an interim government for Assyria. He believed that the only way to organize, legitimize, and validate the Assyrian political struggle was to form an Assyrian government, by way of establishing an Assyrian parliament, using the United States Congressional structure as a model.
Ivan remained active in the Assyrian community and continued to live in Washington and attend the annual Assyrian conventions. In 1983, while Ivan was attending the Assyrian convention, he met and married his wife, Helen, and Ivan moved to Hayward, California. Approximately a year later, Ivanís only son was born, Arsanous Sergei Kakovitch. While ďSergeiĒ was a young child, Ivan and his wife divorced. Ivan remained in Hayward to be close to his son, but eventually moved to Cypress, California.
While living in Cypress, California, Ivan finally finished writing the story he was obsessed with from birth. The Simele Massacre of the Assyrian people, impacted not only Ivanís family, who was forced to flee their village in Iraq, and become perpetual foreigners, moving from country to country, but affected Ivanís own personal life, as well. Ivan devoted most of his life to the Assyrian cause to overcome the tragedy of being snatched away from the soil that bore him, while still in his motherís womb. He was determined to gather the fragments of the Assyrian nation, and organize it structurally and functionally, to make Assyria a political contender in the world arena. He wanted to put Assyria back on the world map, and offer every Assyrian in the Diaspora a way to go home again.
Ivan published his Mount Semele novel, in 2001 without knowing that he would meet the exact same fate as the character in his novel. Ivanís family and friends were shocked the way in which Ivan died, without a previous illness, and without a warning, and how much Ivan's death parallelled his Mount Semele character's death. In the book, Mount Semele, the main character, Michael, after having survived the most horrendous conditions, takes a trip to Paris with his family, where he suddenly dies from unknown causes. In real life, Ivan and his fiancť, Rima, take a trip to Paris on December 21, 2006, and without even unpacking, Ivan suddenly dies in Paris on December 22, 2006, just like Michael. Even Ivan did not expect such irony, but perhaps he had an epiphany.
The Assyrian nation will always be indebted to great men like Ivan Kakovitch, who put Assyria before any other cause. His death is a great loss to the Assyrian nation now and into the future. Ivan lived his life and loved the people he knew with great passion and dedication. To that end, he was larger than life.
Ivan is survived by his sister Rita, his two brothers, Tom and Shurik, his fiancť Rima, and his son Sergei, who now goes by the name, William George. Our condolences to his family and all those who loved Ivan. Alaha Ashur be with him, he will be greatly missed.
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