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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 By the time he graduated High School he already had several unpublished short stories and comics under his belt, and he would continue writing throughout his college years.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.

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Armenian Assembly of America Presents Armenian Genocide Exhibit at Holocaust Museum of Southwest Florida

TK HMSWFL

Turkish Consulate in Miami Attempts to Block Discussion of Armenian Genocide

NAPLES, FL – On Sunday, April 12, Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) Communications Director Taniel Koushakjian presented the ‘Iconic Images of the Armenian Genocide‘ exhibit at the Holocaust Museum and Education Center of Southwest Florida to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide which began on April 24, 1915.

With a capacity filled hall, Koushakjian discussed the systemic nature of the killings step by step, and presented the 20-panel exhibit highlighting details through the photographic evidence taken by eyewitnesses at the time, including American missionaries and German officers. The fourth in a series of digital exhibits released free of charge, ‘Iconic Images of the Armenian Genocide’ brings together as a single collection key images recording the brutal mistreatment of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Turkish Empire and the utter destruction of their historic communities.

In an outrageous move to impede a program on human rights education, the Turkish Consulate in Miami sent a letter trying to block discussion of the Armenian Genocide. “It is a disgrace that the Armenian diaspora chooses to identify itself with hatred of Turks, anti-Turkism in other words, as well as with outright dismissal of any chance of reconciliation and better relations between Turkey and Armenia,” wrote Ozgur Kivanc Altan, Consul General of the Republic of Turkey in Miami in the letter addressed to the Holocaust Museum of Southwest Florida. “This is disturbing, yet not surprising, as the [Armenian] diaspora sought in recent years to hijack the Holocaust in an attempt to garner support for a distorted presentation of the events of 1915,” read the Turkish complaint.

“We deeply appreciate the Holocaust Museum’s leadership in continuing the program as planned and are confident that Taniel’s presentation was well received,” said Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny. “Despite cynical attempts to silence the truth, the truth will prevail,” added Ardouny.

In addition to Sunday’s program, Koushakjian also gave a presentation of the Armenian Genocide on Saturday, April 11 for a group of a dozen educators from surrounding Collier, Hendry, Lee, and Monroe counties as part of a public teacher workshop on Holocaust and human rights education at the Holocaust Museum and Education Center of Southwest Florida.

Additional photographs are available on the Assembly’s Facebook Page.

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.

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NR: # 2015-023

Photo Caption 1: Armenian Assembly Communications Director Taniel Koushakjian speaking to the audience about the Armenian Genocide.

Happy President’s Day 2015

Presidents Day 2014_FLArmenians