Category Archives: General Update

General Status Updates/News of Our Website

In Memoriam: Armenouhi Odabachian

Armenouhi Odabachian (née Kutnerian), 96, passed away peacefully on the morning of May 8th.  Armenouhi is survived by her daughter, Arlys (Hagop) Koushakjian, son Arshag Odabachian, grandsons Taniel and Devon, granddaughter Arianna and great-granddaughter Ayla.

Born on March 19th 1923 in Romania, Armenouhi was the daughter of an Armenian Genocide survivor.  Her life’s winding narrative took her to Egypt, Beirut, Detroit and finally to Boca Raton FL in 1993, where she could be near her daughter’s family.  Married to Ara Odabachian (U.S. Army ret.) in 1950, she was a devoted mother to their two children.

Throughout her life, Armenouhi was known as an effervescent bon vivant as well as a force to be reckoned with.  Fluent in five languages, she earned a PhD in French Literature at a time when most women did not even go to college.  All knew her as elegant, cultured, poised, outspoken, worldly and artistic.  She was a pianist and avid supporter of the performing arts who adored travel, fashion, ostrich feathers, opera length gloves, champagne, and listening to classical music and Charles Aznavour.  

Armenouhi was a member of the St. John Armenian Church Women’s Guild in Detroit for over 30 years.  

She is predeceased by her husband, Ara Odabachian; her parents, Nazaret and Henazant Kutnerian; and by her brother Kegham who passed just six months ago.

The family will receive relatives and friends for a viewing at St. David Armenian Apostolic Church in Boca Raton on Saturday, May 11th at 11:30am.  A requiem service will follow at 12:30pm. Interment will immediately follow at The Gardens of Boca Raton where she will be laid to rest beside her husband, Ara. Hokejash will be held afterwards at Ouzo Bay restaurant at Mizner Park in Boca Raton.


Florida Armenians Participate in ‘Together We Remember’ Community Vigil in Boca Raton

BOCA RATON, FL – On Tuesday, April 16, a group of local and national human rights activists, community leaders, elected officials, religious leaders, teachers and students gather in Sanborn Square for “Together We Remember: The Future of Our Past,” reported Florida Armenians.

David Estrin, Founder and CEO of Together We Remember, organized the second annual universal commemoration program in Boca Raton. “April is Genocide Awareness Month,” Estrin said. “So it’s important that we all come together this time of year to commemorate our past and take action for the future,” he said.

The program began with the reading of names of victims of various genocides, including the Armenian Genocide, as well as victims of hatred, bigotry, discrimination and gun violence in the world. Arsine Kaloustian, Chairwoman of the South Florida Armenian Genocide Commemoration, Inc. (AGC) read the names of genocide victims. Lonny Wilk, Senior Associate Regional Director, Anti-Defamation League-Florida read the names of victims of hatred, bigotry, discrimination and gun violence. A local student from the Boca Raton Interfaith Youth Association read the names of lynching victims in Florida.

Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL), whose district includes the cities of Boca Raton and Parkland, gave the keynote address. His remarks focused on the meaning of “Never Again” today and how individuals learn from one another and take collective action.

The program also featured musical interludes from Shine MSD, students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.


The program also featured an expert panel of religious leaders, community activists, and academics who discussed their respective community’s experience with genocide, violence, and hatred. Panelists included Liz Vocasek, Associate Education Director, Anti-Defamation League-Florida; Rev. Fr. Andrew Sherman, Pastor of St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church of Boca Raton, Florida; Taniel Koushakjian, Editor of; Darren Levine, Teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School; and Rabbi Leonid Feldman, Temple Beth El in West Palm Beach, Florida. The panel was moderated by Antonella Regueiro, Assistant Professor at Lynn University.

To conclude the program, participants were encourage to take action in their own way. Some took action by writing to their elected officials from their smart phones. Others shared stories and pictures on social media to amplify the message. Some pledged to write letters to their local newspapers.

At the end, everyone listened to the stories of each other, engaged with people they had never met, and people came together to say in one voice: “We Remember” and “Never Again.”

For more photos, check out the Florida Armenians Facebook Page Photo Album.

You can also watch two video clips from the event here and here.

Florida Armenians Welcome New Armenian Ambassador to the United States

Taniel Koushakjian with H.E. Varuzhan Nersessian, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the U.S., at the Embassy of Armenia in Washington, DC – February 4, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC – In February, Florida Armenians Editor Taniel Koushakjian travelled to the nation’s capital for a series of meetings with government officials, NGO’s, and policy makers. During his time, he met with Armenia’s new Ambassador to the U.S., His Excellency Varuzhan Nersesyan, and welcomed him back to the United States in his new capacity. They discussed a series of issues of concern to the Armenian American community.

Koushakjian conveyed the congratulations of several thousand Armenian Americans in Florida who cheered the democratic movement of the citizens of Armenia and the peaceful transition of power that swept across Armenia in 2018. He also invited Ambassador Nersesyan to visit the Sunshine State in 2020.

Ambassador Nersesyan is no stranger to Washington, DC. From April 2008 to December 2012, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia to the United States.

President of the United States Donald J. Trump accepts the credentials of the Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to the U.S. His Excellency Varuzhan Nersesyan in the Oval Office, The White House, Washington, DC – January 11, 2019

Nersesyan is the first Armenian Ambassador to the U.S. under Armenian President Nikol Pashinyan. He presented his credentials to the President of the United States Donald J. Trump in a ceremony in the Oval Office on January 11, 2019. During a brief conversation, President Trump and Ambassador Nersesyan highlighted the steps towards expanding the US-Armenia bilateral relationship in several areas. The interlocutors emphasized the role of the Armenian American community in enhancing the friendship between the two nations.