Samaha was a freshman from the Fairfax County suburbs of Washington, had a beaming smile and had a passion for show business. She was studying drama and planned to travel to France this summer for her summer-abroad program and strengthen her French, her father told CNN.
"Dance was her life. She loved choreography," her father, Joseph Samaha, told the network in an interview. She had diverse interests and "loved the world, loved to travel," her father added. He described her as a "terrific, dynamic person" who was "shy, until you got to know her; then she had tons of friends."
At Virginia Tech, Reema Samaha participated in the Contemporary Dance Ensemble, a student organization. Her brother, Omar, a 23-year-old Tech graduate, told NBC's Today he had visited Blacksburg over the past weekend, when his sister participated in a dance recital and a cultural street fair.
Omar Samaha had to leave before his sister finished performing on Sunday; he had complimented his sister's work and hugged her, he told Today, but "I never got to say goodbye."
The Samaha family lives in a well-off suburban neighborhood of single-family homes in Centreville. It is a mile or so away from the townhouse neighborhood where the Virginia Tech gunman lived.