An Unforgettable Summer
By Mireille Samra
Special Guest Contributor
After packing my five very heavy suit cases, I felt prepared to enter my direct flight to Washington D.C. Why might a South Florida native fly to Washington D.C. other then touring all the national monuments and museums? The simplest answer is to learn. My name is Mireille Samra and I am currently enrolled in the Armenian Assembly of America’s Terjenian-Thomas Summer Internship Program in Washington, D.C. Through the internship with the Assembly, I was placed on Capitol Hill, in the Office of Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Vice Chairman of the Armenian Caucus in Congress.
As an intern with the Armenian Assembly this summer, I have gained several new professional and personal connections. I was able to meet the President of Armenia twice in one day, along with the honorable First Lady of Armenia, on their first official visit to the U.S. So far, the 2018 class of Assembly interns have met with several community, political, and industry leaders. Early on, we met with the Director of the Armenian National Institute (ANI), Dr. Ruben Adalian. ANI provides historical information concerning the Armenian Genocide. In addition, the Assembly program provides us with direct meetings with elected officials, such as Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), Congressman Bilirakis, and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), to name a few.
Currently, I have only been in D.C. for about one month. In that short amount of time, I have been learning things I could have never expected to learn, from how the metro (subway) system works, and the fact that finding parking in Washington, D.C. is like winning the lottery! Growing up, I’ve been known for always taking opportunities and not thinking much about them. Truthfully, this internship has taught me a lot. A typical workweek is Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 6:00pm, most days. Working on Capitol Hill, the people you meet are endless. Just last week I was giving a tour of the Capitol when the Queen of Jordan Rania Al-Abdullah walked by a few feet away from me! Something that keeps the internship on the Hill very interesting is that no two days are ever the same. For any Armenian American that is passionate about working hard in a big city and learning, the summer internship with the Armenian Assembly of America is a must before graduating.
Mireille Samra is a resident of Boca Raton, Florida and an active member of the South Florida Armenian American community. She graduated from Spanish River High School and currently studies Criminal Justice at Lynn University in Boca Raton.
Posted on July 22, 2018, in General Update, News and tagged Armen Sargsyan, Armenian Assembly of America, Armenian Caucus, Armenian National Institute, Capitol Hill, Congress, DC, Gus Bilirakis, Mireille Samra, Ruben Adalian, Washington, Washington DC. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.
So pleased to learn about your organization bringing news of interest to Armenians in Florida. My third novel addressing survivors of the Armenian Genocide will be published in May 2019. We have reached out to several Armenian organizations asking for their help in promoting the message of the novel, Givers and Takers. A brief synopsis follows.
Ani Sarkissian and Haig Sarian, surviving descendants of the 1915 Armenian Genocide in Turkey, fall in love in 1980 Ankara. Unbeknown to Ani, her lover is a spy working for the British. Unbeknown to Haig, Ani is pregnant with his child. When Haig’s cover is threatened to be exposed, he’s forced to disappear, unaware he is to become a father.
Ani vows to give her child a better future and leaves Ankara where Christian Armenians are treated like second class citizens in a Moslem world. Through innate wit and perseverance, she gains employment in Geneva as an interpreter and gives birth to her son, Raffi. Alone, with no husband, no parents, her vision raising him in America becomes reality when she gains a position at the UN in New York City. There in a small flat in Brooklyn, she guides her son each step of the way, and finally sees him become a surgeon at a prestigious medical center in Manhattan.
It’s a moving love story between a man and a woman, between mother and son, both heartbreaking and inspirational as it weaves the challenges facing the Sarkissian family. Ani, searching for her lost love; Raffi facing challenges in his professional and personal life. How they resolve the conflicts confronting them, keeps the reader turning pages.
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