The list of the dead at Tech includes at least two (so far) Arabic names: Reema Samaha and Ross Alameddine. Another Arab-American, Jamal Albarghouti, survived the attack and has been seen in the media discussing the celphone video he took of some of the shooting.
UPDATE: The Lebanese foreign ministry confirms that Samaha and Alameddine are of Lebanese ancestry. A new name added to the list, Waleed Shalaan, seems as if it could be Arab, as well.
My profound condolences to the Samaha and Alameddine families, and to all the other people mourning their dead in Virginia today.
Already we have seen a few comments on the internet about the ethnicity and national origin of the shooter. I posted a remark about this at Kevin Drum's site which I want to reproduce here:
My father arrived at Virginia Tech in 1957 as a foreign student from Lebanon. He went there to get a masters' degree - and VPI was cheaper than the other schools he got into - see Cal Tech.
Dad lived at International House in those days, which was full of foreigners. (that's how he met my mom, a student at a nearby women's college and a Southerner of nine or ten generations)
Looking at the list of the Virginia Tech dead, and the interviews with survivors, I notice several Middle Eastern names just for a start. There are also immigrants from all the rest of the world, including the Romanian Holocaust survivor who died protecting his students.
People who hate immigrants will of course use this tragedy as an excuse to bash immigration, but Virginia Tech has a long tradition of welcoming foreign students, and including many who are permanent residents or naturalized citizens.
You would have to find boxcars and send out battalions of troops to purge Virginia Tech of the non-native-born, and then you would still be left with the children of immigrants, people like me with funny names who maybe have an immigrant father. To get rid of all of them, you would have to purge people like Barack Obama. And you would have to decide which immigrants' children you're going to purge - Irish? Mexicans? English? Indians?
Oh yes, and how about all the professors who are naturalized citizens, or children of naturalized citizens with attendant "funny names"? I have a friend on the faculty at Virginia Tech who is an Arab-American, born here; his father, like mine, graduated from Virginia Tech. Shall we get rid of him, too? Probably a quarter of the faculty at most American colleges would have to leave.
And would such ethnic cleansing prevent future gun massacres? Not bloody likely.
Just saying. The logic of immigrant student goes crazy = get rid of immigrants really doesn't hold up.