Shimon Ganja (right) was one of the brightest figures of the early 20th century. He was born in 1870, in Kurtapa village, Urmia, Iran.
He was one of the founders of “Kokhva” (The Star) magazine. As we know, “Kokhva” was published since 1906 by Rev. Iskhaq Yukhannan (director), Shimon Polus (1st editor), Yukhannan Moshe (editor), and Shimon Ganja – its treasurer (1906-1910).
Shimon was joining like-minded intellectuals like comrade Dr. Freydun Atouraya and Benjamin Arsanis. In 1919, Shimon was a delegate from Tiflis (Georgia) at the Paris Peace Conference, along with Lazar Yakubov and Rev. Lazar George. He enthusiastically greeted the rest of the delegates from America and the Middle East, supporting Rev. Joel Warda’s political position at the conference.
In 1926, Dr. Freudun was arrested and killed by communists. After all these events, Shimon’s traces were lost. He disappeared from the political arena, and we didn’t know about his fate.
And so, in 2001, digging in archives, I accidentally found his trace in Chicago.
It turns out that in 1935 he was a member of the Assyrian Political Action Committee (Ben Marshall, chairman), which endorsed the candidacy of Mayor Edward Kelly for his re-election.
Shimon Ganja died in 1951, and was buried at Elmwood Cemetery, Chicago, IL.
Pictured here, Shimon Ganja (right) in Urmia on the way to Tiflis, 1905.