Gulf & Middle East
Grandparents of Lebanese victim mourn grandchild
Apr 19, 2007 - 11:08:48 AM

Beirut, April 19 - The sound of crying could be heard outside the door of Georgette and Suheil Semaha in Beirut as they heard that one of the victims in the Virginia Polytechnic Institute shooting was their grandchild Reema.

Clad all in black and with tears in her eyes, Reema's grandmother Georgette opened the door of her apartment in Dora, Christian east Beirut. The elderly couple was still in shock Wednesday after Monday's death of their grandchild.

'Look at her, isn't she pretty?' Georgette asked showing a picture of her granddaughter. 'I cannot believe we lost her just like that!' she said, holding the picture of Reema against her chest.

'Why, why did he take the lives of the young and hopeful, Reema and other young victims?' cried Georgette.

The grieving grandparents first heard about the death of their grandchild from the local news.

Georgette and Suheil, the parents of Reema's mother Mona, are also worried about their daughter, who was still in shock after receiving the news about her daughter's death.

'Reema used to come to Lebanon in the summer, she loved to dance and loved her parents' native country,' Georgette said.

The old woman was still holding onto to a letter Reema had sent to her grandparents, in which she wrote, 'I love you both very much, hope to see you soon.'

'For us, these loving words from our beautiful grandchild will stay with us until we die,' said Suheil, Reema's grandfather as he wiped away his tears.

Reema's grandparents called for a memorial Sunday in one of Beirut's churches to bring all the people who loved the victim to pray for her to rest in peace.

Reema Samaha, a Lebanese-American student, was among 32 people killed Monday during the worst mass shooting in American history.

Another Lebanese-American student, who was identified as Ross Alameddine, was also killed in the incident.

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