Funeral services were held last Sunday, April 22 at Holy Transfiguration Melkite Greek-Catholic Church in McLean for Reema Samaha, the 18-year old graduate of Westfield High School in Centreville slain in the tragedy at Virginia Tech almost two weeks ago.
The procession from McLean to Falls Church’s National Memorial Park Cemetery, where she was laid to rest, brought traffic to a stand still as mourners turned out en masse to pay their respects to her family and honor her young life.
Reema will remembered by her family and friends as a beauty who was just beginning to enjoy school and celebrate her independence — she had just recently chosen a major (Urban Planning) and joined Tech’s Middle Eastern dance troupe. Friends remember her on tribute websites as “vibrant” and “full of life.”
“She enjoyed being different. Whether it be dance or theater or character acting, her mind worked differently,” said her father, Joe Samaha to the Washington Post of his youngest daughter.
In high school, Reema was known for her involvement in Westfield’s theatre department, winning recognition for her roles in the school’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof.” She also had a lead role in “Arsenic and Old Lace” and helped choreograph “Oklahoma!”
Reema leaves behind her father Joe, her mother Mona, an older brother Omar and an older sister Randa. Parents Joe and Mona emigrated from Lebanon early in their own lives and raised their children in the Northern Virginia area.
“As a performer,” her father said to the Post, “she wanted to be on stage. And I want the world to be her stage now. I want the world to see her. As a last wish.”