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#21 Arpa



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Posted 03 May 2013 - 07:42 AM

ARMENIA AVENUE in Tampa Florida
See the history below, how the original Armina became Armenia in time.
I have actually been there. We were driving southwest from Orlando with the intention to drive north on the east coast, and suddenly, as we approached Tampa HUH!! A big sign on the highway Armenia Avenue. Of course we exited. At the time the place was not pretty to say the least.

The story of Armenia Avenue in Tampa, Florida
by George Kamajian
Published: Monday April 08, 2013
Florida, our nation's third largest state, has long been underrepresented when it comes to organized Armenians. Sure, there has been Hye's basking in the sunshine state for years. The traditional 95 corridor from Boston to Miami sprouted numerous colonies of Armenians from Jacksonville to Ft Lauderdale.
Churches soon followed in Miami and Boca with a smattering of a few mission parishes when the Armenian populations were deemed too small to support a church. Although Armenians have made their presence known in Florida business and sports (think Garo Yepremian from the undefeated Miami Dolphins) for years, their numbers are still anemic when compared to Philly, Boston or Detroit.
When the Western part of the state opened up with Interstate 75 a funny thing happened. There was an Armenian imprint in Tampa that went beyond anything their brothers and sisters could brag about up north.
There, in the middle of downtown Tampa was the landmark Armenia Avenue with a sign as big as any on Interstate 75. A familiar name welcomed weary tourist from up north. How? Who was this powerful, rich or politically connected Armenian that made this happen?
Unfortunately, according to the local historical society Armenia has nothing to do with the name of a road in Tampa.
"Armenia Avenue was actually originally called Armina Avenue," said Rodney Kite-Powell, the curator of history at the Tampa Bay History Center. Kite-Powell says cigar factories used to line this avenue. There are a lot of streets named after the cigar factories that they were near," Kite-Powell explained. "And so, the Armina cigar factory was right along Armenia -- or Armina -- Avenue."
So how'd we get from A-r-m-i-n-a to A-r-m-e-n-i-a?
"Somewhere along the line, either a sign painter messed up, or somebody just kept consistently messing up the pronunciation, and Armina became Armenia," Kite-Powell said.
Now for the good news....it's going to stay Armenia avenue forever.
Editor's note: For a video report on the topic go to http://www.wtsp.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=134700
Let’s see how many other places we know with Armenian names. Like Nor Marash in Beitut
We all know Armenia in Colombia
Artsakh St. in Watertown Mass.
Ararat in Ausrealia
To not forget this in my backyard. Kabalian Drive

Edited by Arpa, 03 May 2013 - 07:44 AM.

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#22 Arpa



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Posted 19 July 2014 - 07:12 AM

A heart warming story.
Vartan Melkonian
From garbage can FILTH to the PHILHARMONIC. From orphanage to palaces.
Thank you Katia and Groong News .
To see the orginal article and pictures click here;


Get Bucks, UK
July 18 2014

Jul 18, 2014 13:04
By Laura Mowat

An orphan, Vartan Melkonian grew up living rough on the streets of
Beirut. He is now a conductor for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
and gives talks at the UN on street children. Laura Mowat reports

Sunset to you and I might mean a time where we can leave the office
and go to the pub. For street children like Vartan was, it was the
most terrifying time of the day, when he had to face the daily tango
of reality as a street boy and find shelter for the night.

"People take moments of pleasure by looking at the sunset. For us,
for me, it was the worst time of the day, there was nowhere to go. I
had to find any alcove to sleep in," the former street child said.

The musician worked different jobs, such as shoe shining, selling
chewing gum and shovelling sand onto lorries. He would earn ten pence
a day, which was enough to buy some bread and he was thankful for the
fertility of Lebanon as finding food in dustbins was never an issue.

He said: "You don't notice that it is scary as that is your life
and that is what you do. It is only when you look at it from an
intellectual point of view now that it might seem scary of course. You
have to make decisions crucial to your existence and that comes

Vartan became a street child when he left an orphanage just outside of
Beirut when he was eight-years-old. His parents were Armenian and came
to Lebanon as refugees when there was the Armenian Genocide in 1915,
which left 1.5 million people dead. Vartan spent his first eight
years in the refugee camp with his parents.

The father-of-two seeked solace in music, he could write music before
he wrote words and when he walked the streets of Lebanon, he would walk
in tempo rhythm. He gathered other street boys, taught them harmony
and they would hum hymns together. They would hum as the solution
to the fact they all spoke different languages. The band of street
boys became quite well known in the city and they were particularly
popular among American sailors.

He said: "It was about dedication and not giving up on the case."

Through a random encounter on the street, a band member from the
band Inotorni took interest in the young talent and asked Vartan
to join his band. This X-factor like meeting played a big role in
giving Vartan a ticket for success; it helped him to afford to buy
a property in Beirut when he was 18.

He said: "It was a sensation that one can not describe easily to
have your own place. I had never sat on a chair, I had never been
into someone's house. I didn't know how to tie shoe laces. If no one
tells you these things then you don't know it at all."

When he was a street child, the conductor would often get shooed on
by smart hotels.

When I asked Vartan whether he is surprised about how far he has come,
from a boy with nothing to a conductor for one of the most successful
orchestras in the world, he said that he always knew his fantasies
would become his reality.

His response, which simply demonstrates the underlying optimism
he always had, was: "If you want to, you will finish a race, not
necessarily first, but you will get there if you aim for it. They
weren't fantasises that I never thought I could achieve."

Vartan as a spokesman for the United Nations now gives speeches about
street children and explains that children on the streets do give
back if given the chance. He is a patron for the Consortium of Street
Children, which Sir John Major set up when he was the prime minister.

He has given speeches in Westminster as well as Colombia where he met
the president and called for more to be done to help homeless children.

He said: "If we invest in children and give children a chance, you
will be saving children like me."

Having his unique experience, the musician said: "Too many people in
the world think 'what is my right rather than what can I give?"

He came to England when he was a young adult and he worked in the
north of the country as well as in the East End singing and producing
music. He brought up his children in London and in Chenies where he
is grateful they could have a different start to life than his own.

A few months ago, in his role of patron for the Consortium of Street
Children, he gave Prince William a prize at a polo competition.

The father-of-two, who has not stopped smiling warmly at me since
we began talking tells me about a time his daughter as a child,
when probed what her father did, proudly said: "My daddy is an orphan."

>From nurses to social welfare, Vartan feels bitter about the people
who complain and turn a blind eye to the good things that the West

"We should be grateful to the nurses in England compared to Lebanon
where you die for not having enough money," he said.

When I asked how similar Buckinghamshire is to Beirut, Vartan laughed
and said: "It is very different. The only thing that is the same is
that we are all human and we all breath the same air."

He said: "When I used to see the children coming home from school
and saying to me 'What's for dinner?' that is something so alien to
me. I am so pleased they are able to do that and not look through
the rubbish bins for their next meal."

When we finish talking in the Amersham cafe, a waitress, who I hadn't
realised was also engrossed in his words, approached the table and
thanked Vartan for sharing his tale. I couldn't agree with her more.

Vartan's daughter, Veronica, has threatened to write a book of her
father's intoxicating life, I do hope this materialises. I, for one,
would love a signed copy.

Vartan is a patron of the Consortium for Street Children


BTW, The orphanage in question is probably this ԹՌՉՆՈՑ ԲՈՅՆ;

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#23 onjig



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Posted 19 July 2014 - 11:07 AM

This is good, thanks.

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