He has written stories about a modern-day lynching in Mississippi, an Atlanta man’s struggles after his exoneration from a murder conviction, a 17-year-old murdered in Chicago, a narcotics unit that coerced young people into working as confidential informants in Oxford, a Brooklyn detective accused of beating and framing innocent suspects, a man who jumped off a building in San Francisco, a Baltimore police officer who broke the blue wall of silence, a deadly prison bus crash in Texas, a high school football team in East St. Louis, a car thief with the mental capacity of a third grader, and a Mississippi corrections commissioner arrested for corruption.
His stories have won awards from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, the National Education Writers Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, and the California Newspaper Publishers Association. The Best American Sports Writing anthology series has listed three of his stories in its Notable Sports Writing section. He won an Emerging Writer Award at the 2014 Mayborn Literary Non-Fiction Conference.
Before joining BuzzFeed, Samaha was a staff writer at the Village Voice. Before that he was a staff writer at San Francisco Weekly. He began his career as a reporter for the Riverfront Times in St. Louis. His work has also appeared in the San Francisco Examiner, the New York Observer, and City Limits magazine. He earned his Master’s at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and graduated from the University of San Diego, where he played football. He enjoys burritos, wearing Air Jordans, and supporting the Golden State Warriors.