By Mercedes Gechidjian
FLArmenians Miami Contributor
Hollywood, FL— On Sunday, September 20, several representatives of the Armenian Student Association (ASA) of the University of Miami (UM), the Armenian American Student Organization (AASO) of Florida International University (FIU), and NOVA Southeastern University, had the opportunity to meet at the Armenian Independence Day picnic hosted by St. Mary Armenian Church.
Following Church service, and after indulging in delicious kebabs and barbecued meats prepared by the St. Mary Men’s Club, the UM-ASA and FIU-AASO members met and discussed future plans, potential for joint events, and aspirations for their clubs this academic year and beyond. Ms. Mercedes Gechidjian, President of the UM-ASA, and Florida Armenians Broward County Chair Gevorg Shahbazyan, also President of FIU-AASO, discussed the idea of cooperation between the two clubs to bring awareness of Armenian life and culture in Miami.
However, it was not just a business meeting for the members of the Armenian clubs. Social events such as joint dinners, beach days, and movie nights were also explored. “I think that by strengthening our friendship and planning ‘non-business’ hang outs with FIU-AASO we will be able to work as a family,” said Mishela Gevorkian, a graduate student at the University of Miami and member of the UM-ASA. Arman Shahbazyan, an active member of FIU-AASO, was extremely happy to meet more young Armenians in South Florida. “Living in Miami, it’s a little hard given the size of our community here. So when you have the opportunity to meet new Armenians, you just become happy. We had a very productive day and I’m looking forward to future joint activities,” said Shahbazyan.
Both clubs are relatively new but, since their establishment, have caught the attention of their respective student bodies and Armenian communities around the world. It is wonderful to see the next generation of Florida Armenians promoting our culture, our traditions, and our language amid their peers, as they help grow and expand the Armenian American community in South Florida.