Category Archives: News

Armenian Man Dies from Coronavirus After Visiting Disney World Orlando

Jeff Ghazarian (Facebook Photo)

A 34-year-old Armenian man from Glendora, California died after being diagnosed with the coronavirus. Jeffrey Ghazarian died on Thursday, March 19 at a Pasadena hospital, where he was hooked up to a ventilator for five days, after being diagnosed with the coronavirus on March 13.

He had visited Disney World in Orlando, Florida before returning to Los Angeles. He became the second person in Los Angeles County to succumb to the coronavirus.

“He suffered a lot and put up a good fight. We will miss our Jeff everyday but we are thankful for all the fun happy memories of the times we had together,” his sister wrote on his Facebook page, according to TMZ.

Ghazarian’s family told TMZ that he flew from Los Angeles to Orlando on March 2 for a work conference, but stayed a few extra days to visit Disney World and Universal theme parks with friends.

According to his family, on March 7 Ghazarian developed a cough, and the next day he coughed up blood. He flew back to LAX on March 9 and immediately went to the emergency, where he also had a high fever. The Ghazarian family told TMZ that a chest x-ray confirmed he had pneumonia. He was tested for COVID-19 and sent home with fluids and antibiotics and instructed to self-quarantine until he got the results.

On March 13, the results of his test came back positive for the coronavirus. According to TMZ, Ghazarian was given a portable oxygen meter to keep an eye on his. On March 14 he was taken by ambulance to the hospital and quickly transferred to the ICU when it was discovered his lungs were 60 to 70 percent blocked with pneumonia. Doctors decided the best path forward was to sedate and intubate, hoping a ventilator would help his lungs heal, according to family accounts provided to TMZ.

Ghazarian passed away Thursday morning. His family said he was he had a history of asthma and frequent bronchitis as a child, though he outgrew that. He also had undergone surgery for testicular cancer back in 2016.

Armenian Church Primate Bishop Daniel Findikyan Visits Florida

(Photo by Teresa Haidarian)

Armenian Church Diocesan Primate Bishop Daniel Findikyan led a weekend of sacred observances and fellowship at the St. Hagop Armenian Church of St. Petersburg, FL, on January 24-26.

The visit began on Friday evening, when the Primate ordained a pair of young parishioners, Edmond Keshishian and Shagen Babayan, as tbirs, during a solemn vespers service. Afterwards, parishioners adjourned to the church hall for dinner and an informal discussion period with Bishop Daniel.

The Friday service was a prelude to the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, when Edmond and Shagen joined Robert Maslar and Michael Sarafian in receiving the sacrament of ordination as sub-deacons, by the bishop’s hand.

(Photo by Teresa Haidarian)

(Photo by Teresa Haidarian)

“There were tears in people’s eyes, including mine, during this ordination—maybe for the same reason people cry at weddings,” said pastor Fr. Hovnan Derderian. “When anyone new is married, in a sense we are all re-married and rededicate ourselves to our own sacred bond. When anyone is newly ordained, we are all in a sense re-ordained and re-baptized, in that we’re rededicating ourselves to follow Christ and serve each other in faith, hope, and love.”

Following Holy Badarak, Bishop Daniel blessed a new khatchkar (stone cross) donated to the church by parishioners Ara and Rita Keshishian. At a reception, the parish screened an original video about the artisan who carved the khatchkar.

(Photo by Teresa Haidarian)

City of Miami Beach Officially Recognizes the Armenian Genocide

Miami Beach City Commissioner Mark Samuelian 

MIAMI BEACH, FL – On Wednesday, December 11, 2019, the City of Miami Beach, Florida passed a resolution officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide, reported FLArmenians.com.

The resolution was introduced by Miami Beach City Commissioner Mark Samuelian and passed unanimously.

“I am extremely proud of my Armenian heritage, and happy to have visited Armenia this summer and seen the wonderful countryside and its people. I commend the U.S. House of Representatives for condemning and recognizing the Armenian Genocide and proud of the City of Miami Beach for adopting this resolution,” Mark Samuelian said in a statement to FLArmenians.com. “In addition, I congratulate the Armenian Genocide Committee, Inc. (AGC) for its efforts in commemorating the Armenian Genocide here in South Florida. This is a significant step in honoring the history of the Armenian people and their contributions,” Samuelian said.

In 2017, Samuelian became the first Armenian American elected official in Miami-Dade County history.

“The City of Miami Beach is the first city in Miami-Dade County to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide, and I know I speak for the thousands of Armenian Americans in Miami-Dade when I say ‘Thank You’ to Commissioner Samuelian, Mayor Gelber, and the entire City Commission on this historic occasion,” stated AGC Chairwoman Arsine Kaloustian. “As the Armenian American community in South Florida continues to grow, AGC will continue to build on our accomplishments and expand Armenian Genocide awareness, education, and affirmation in the Sunshine State,” Kaloustian said.

A copy of the resolution is available here.