She is Muslim, he is Catholic. She fled Pakistan to come to live in Italy with her Italian boyfriend after her family said they were going to marry her off to one of her cousins
She is beautiful, it has to be said. She resembles a sweet warrior princess. Zeba, as she is called, has dark eyes, jet-black hair, and a radiant complexion. But beneath this beautiful surface lies a courageous free and hopeful soul. Zeba has the fiery look of someone who has taken a life changing step. The life of a 28 year old girl who has left her country, Pakistan, along with her family, friends and university, to flee to Italy and marry the man that she loves. She ran away because she was hounded by the bureaucracy of death, by that law that prevents a Muslim woman from marrying a Christian. “My family, she says in a near whisper, wanted to force me to marry one of my cousins. I said no, this time, no. Some Italian friends helped me escape. Now, with him by my side and thanks to these friends, I can make a fresh start.” The boy in question is Davide (not actual name, editor’s note), a 29 year old IT expert who works as a manager for a large company.
Davide and Zeba met four years ago in an Italian city through common friends. About a month later she returned to Pakistan, to her journalism studies at the University of Quad-e-Azam in Islamabad and to her passion for art. But since then, not one day has gone past without them speaking on the phone. “We met again after two whole years, she recalls, and became even more convinced that sooner or later, regardless of existing difficulties, we would be able to share our lives together.”