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How we met: ‘We shared a hug – and I didn’t want to let go’ | Life and style

When Eve travelled to Morocco in January 2020, she was looking forward to an escape. “I was living in Michigan and studying for a doctorate in diversity and equity in education. The trip was part of my class,” she says. Her first stop was Casablanca, where she decided to visit Rick’s Cafe, a renowned music hotspot. “It was really crowded but with a great energy. It was full of people from all over the world,” she says.

She loved listening to the jazz band, and, as the venue got quieter, she was able to get closer to the stage. It was then that Eve spotted Giuseppe, who had been playing piano. “I turned around and he was smiling so widely – the kind of smile you usually only see small kids make,” she says.

Giuseppe, from Italy, was working as a vocalist and pianist at a hotel in Casablanca, but enjoyed playing jazz in his spare time. He was captivated by Eve and went over to introduce himself, asking if she was a musician too. “I don’t know how, but I sensed her musical aura, and it felt like I immediately connected with her soul,” he says. “It is the most open that I’ve ever felt.” When she told him she did sing, he invited her on stage to jam with him.

“I felt so comfortable with him straight away,” says Eve. “We moved to the piano and played continuously for 30 minutes.” The pair were mesmerised by each other and, at the end of evening, Eve gave Giuseppe her card in the hope they might meet again. Before she left to go back to her hotel, they shared a hug. “I didn’t want to let go. We stayed for a long time, just holding each other,” she says. For Giuseppe, it felt like there was a higher force bringing them together. “I’d been single for a long time and praying to God to help me find my wife,” he says.

They met again a few days later in Rabat. “I was on the next leg of my trip and he met me at one of his favourite cafes,” says Eve. The pair chatted for several hours and Giuseppe says the magic between them just “continued to grow”.

Post-lockdown reunion … Eve and Giuseppe met in Dublin, because Ireland was the only country both could enter
Post-lockdown reunion … Eve and Giuseppe met in Dublin, because Ireland was the only country both could enter

Before Eve flew home two weeks later, they met once more at a hotel in Rabat. “Then he took me to the airport to say goodbye,” says Eve. They stayed in touch through WhatsApp but, before they could make plans to see each other again, the pandemic hit. With Eve locked down in the US and Giuseppe in Morocco, their relationship developed through regular Skype calls. In the summer, Giuseppe returned to Italy, but they couldn’t meet until September. “We went to Dublin, as it was the only country we could both enter,” he says. Since then, they have travelled whenever possible to see each other, and plan to marry in the spring. “We are just waiting for Giuseppe’s visa, so he can move here,” says Eve.

Eve loves how warm and caring her partner is. “I’ve learned how to be more open because he is. He also has this remarkable ability to be tough, but sweet at the same time.”

Giuseppe believes their relationship was meant to be. “Eve is incredibly gifted. I love the depth of her sensitivity, intelligence, and generosity,” he says. “I get to experience what it truly means to be loved.”

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