Blog Archives

Florida Armenians Adds New Contributors in Boca Raton, Tampa, Orlando

FLArm New Contributors

BOCA RATON, FL – Florida Armenians is pleased to announce the addition of three new contributors: Mireille Samra in Boca Raton, Suren Oganessian in Tampa, and Elina Azaryan in Orlando. “The addition of Mireille, Suren, and Elina is a testament to the growing readership of FLARMENIANS.COM,” stated Editor-in-Chief Taniel S. Koushakjian. “These talented individuals are a great addition to our team and I know the entire Florida Armenians family is looking forward to reading their columns, as I am, in the weeks and months ahead,” Koushakjian said.

Mireille Samra
FLArmenians Boca Raton Reporter

Mireille Samra is a native of Boca Raton, FL and has been active in the Armenian American community since a young age. A life-time member of St. David Armenian Church in Boca Raton, Samra is the former Chair of the St. David Armenian Church Youth Organization (ACYOA). She is a graduate of Spanish River High School and is currently a sophomore at Lynn University where she majors in Criminal Justice. Since 2017, she has worked as a student ambassador for Lynn University. Samra just returned from Washington, DC as a participant in the Armenian Assembly of America’s Terjenian-Thomas 2018 Summer Internship Program where she worked on Capitol Hill in the office of Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL).

Suren Oganessian
FLArmenians Tampa/St. Petersburg Reporter

Suren Oganessian was born in Concord, California, and developed a passion for writing at an early age. By the time he graduated High School he already had several unpublished short stories and comics under his belt, and he would continue writing throughout his college years. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Human Communications from California State University Monterey Bay in 2011, he went on to receive a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Fresno State University in 2014. While there, he honed his skills writing for the local Armenian community newspaper Hye Sharzhoom, and began writing and work-shopping what would become his Master’s thesis and debut novel, ‘Odinochka: Armenian Tales from the Gulag.’ Upon completing his Master’s degree he volunteered in Armenia via Birthright Armenia, teaching Creative Writing at the American University of Armenia in Yerevan and teaching English at the NGO Center and American Corners in Vanadzor. Upon his return to the United States he chose to focus on his lifelong dream of becoming a published novelist. He currently resides in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he may be sighted roaming about downtown wearing fancy hats and suits and looking totally overdressed for Florida.

Elina Azaryan
FLArmenians Orlando Reporter

Elina Azaryan has close to twenty years of experience in international business and finance. She has a passion for writing and is an avid traveler. Elina spent her childhood years in Europe. She moved to Fort Lauderdale, FL in 2000, and since 2009 she has called Central Florida home. She received an MBA from Florida Metropolitan University with a concentration in accounting, and is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the State of Florida. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, reading and writing, and staying current in world affairs.


Florida Armenians Gearing Up for Return to Asbury 2015

Asbury2015finalinvite1Return to Asbury is pleased to be going into its 4th revival year in a row – and it is bigger and better than ever. With over 260 tickets sold so far, and prices set to go up on Wednesday, July 22, 2015, now is the time to join hundreds of Armenian Americans from across the U.S. in one of the oldest traditions – kef on the beach!

There’s something for everyone – join us at the Watermark Lounge for a welcoming cocktail on Friday night, then play Tavloo with the best of them on Saturday morning, and be sure to get some sun on the 7th Avenue beach Saturday afternoon (look for the Armenian flags!), or grab a drink poolside as the sun sets. Finally, this year’s attendees will become part of the first Armenians to attend a Kef at the Historic Asbury Park Convention Hall! You will be surrounded by hundreds of friends and family, making memories to talk about for years to come.

This year’s much-awaited ‘Armenian Kef Weekend on the Beach’ will feature the amazing Artsakh Band and…..the return of the Vosbikian Band to Asbury Park, NJ for the first time in over 40 years! This will be a one-night-only performance so don’t delay.


  • Armenian Kef Night Adult tickets: $85 before July 22, $100 after.
  • Armenian Kef Night Student tickets: $65
  • Armenian Kef Night Child (age 6-12) tickets: $45
  • Children 5 and under are free

All adult kef night tickets include one free premium liquor drink.

Grab your friends and family and come to the beach this summer. Be a part of something that’s bigger than all of us – tradition!

And while you’re having fun, tag us in your social media posts using #AsburyKef. Like and tag our facebook page, and follow us on Twitter @AsburyKef.

Hotel rooms in Asbury Park can be found through the links below:





  • Friday 5:30 PM: Happy Hour at Watermark Lounge (21+ cash bar)
  • Saturday 11:00 AM: Tented Tavloo Tournament on the Beach ($30)
  • Saturday 12:00 PM: 7th Avenue Beach Party
  • Saturday 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM: Poolside Happy Hour (cash bar)
  • Saturday 8:00 PM: Armenian Kef Night ($85 before July 22, $100 after)


Live Music, Mezze, and Cash Bar


Steve Vosbikian, Sr.- Clarinet
Steve Vosbikian, Jr. – Sax/Vocals
Greg Vosbikian – Oud
Samuel Vosbikian – Dumbeg
Christopher Vosbikian – Dumbeg
Michael Vosbikian, Jr. – Saxophone
Glen DerHagopian – Dumbeg
Haig Hovnanian – Zils/Tambourine
Stephen Hovnanian – Vocals
Jimmy Kzirian – Dumbeg/Vocals
Ara Dinkjian – Keyboards



Anto Vartanian – Vocals
Jimmy Kzirian – Drum Set
Steve Vosbikian – Clarinet/Zurna
Aram Hovagimian – Keyboard
Anthony Deese – Keyboard


Proceeds to benefit Camp Haiastan, Camp Nubar, and St. Vartan Camp.

Sponsored by the New York Armenian Students’ Association. Event planning provided by Florida Armenians.

We thank the following organizations for their support:
agbu * acyoa * agla ny * armnet-ny * armnet-dc
ayf * fund for armenian relief * knights of vartan
birthright armenia * homenetmen * soar