Guns, Germs, and Steel…and Romance?
Like the rise and fall of empires, some romances take longer than others. That was the case for Danny Hajjar, ESIA BA ’13, ESIA MA ’15, and Christina Ravelo, ESIA BA ’13.
Danny and Christina first met during their freshman year at GW when they were in the same World History class discussion section in the basement of Monroe Hall. He remembers how enthusiastic she was about the book Guns, Germs, and Steel. She remembers him as the kid in the red hoodies and Boston Red Sox hats. They both remember being too shy to interact with each other.
They were given a second chance, however, when both were selected to be part of Colonial Cabinet in 2012. A bond quickly formed, and they established a friendship that grew during the year.
An experienced DJ during his time at GW, Danny has a lot of memories from playing at clubs around D.C. and at university events, including GW’s 2013 Inaugural Ball. However, there’s one fateful appearance on campus that remains his favorite.
“During our senior year, Dining Services asked me to DJ at J Street in the middle of lunchtime on a Saturday to promote a contest they were doing,” Danny recalls. “I was literally there by myself playing house and rap music with people just staring at me, so I texted friends to come visit me.”
Christina was the only one to show up.
“She teased me about the flyers that called me ‘GW’s own DJ Critical Mass,’ which was my DJ name,” he says. “She kept saying ‘Oooooohhhh check out GW’s own with the sick beats and hot tracks,’ every time I would change the song up. That’s definitely our favorite GW memory.”
It was moments like that one that built a close friendship, one that stayed strong even after they both graduated in 2013.
“We always had this chemistry between us,” says Danny. “We both had this special soft spot for each other, but nothing happened romantically.”
That changed one day in late August last year.
Christina was in Dallas as part of Teach for America. Danny was in D.C., finishing up at master’s degree at the Elliott School. Around Labor Day, they texted each other to catch up, as friends often do. Soon they found themselves texting each other every day. And then the texts became phone calls. And then Christina hopped on a plane bound for D.C.
Their first date was to the National Harbor; a date that Danny describes as “so awkwardly romantic.” They rode the Ferris Wheel, but he didn’t sit next to her (“rookie mistake”). Then, when it reached the top, he missed the moment and didn’t even kiss her—“She still gives me flack for that,” he says—but they both consider the date a great success.
“We shared an ice cream cone afterward and that’s really when we both knew we were more than friends,” Danny says. “It’s been amazing ever since.”