Since the times immemorial Ukrainian women were famous for their beauty and intellect. At those times opposition between Slavic territories and the Ottoman Empire reached the climax. People of the conquered lands would be killed and sold. Especially, beautiful Ukrainian women would be sold to the harems of rich people. And after they found themselves in a golden cage it was not life anymore – it was just existence…
Thus, once upon a time in a Ukrainian town Rogatin lived Anastasiia Lisovskaya. In the 16th century she was captured by the Tatar horde and sold on the slave bazaar in Istanbul. On entering the harem of sultan Suleyman the Conquer she managed to become his favorite wife and sultana Khaseki. In history she is famous as Roksolana because at those times all Russians and Ukrainians were called “roksolani” in Latin.
She was the sole woman in the sultan’s harem that had an official title for Suleyman sharing his power with her. She had everything and had nothing. She was far away from her home land and was doomed never to return in her past where all her memories and native faces were still alive. Being deprived of the right to think freely and forced to live in a world where a woman’s life cost less than a life of a homeless cat, Roksolana did win and compelled proud men to admire her. To admire the one who shared the throne together with the sultan – for the first time in the history of the Ottoman Empire existence. This unique Ukrainian woman mastered several languages, she dedicated her own poems to sultan and even wrote books. At that times it was a strange phenomenon that instead of respect awoke fear. They rumored that this astonishing Ukrainian woman had mesmerized sultan – she was treated like a witch. And really, the sultan was fascinated – shortly afterwards he realized that nobody but Roksolana was able to give the best advice in state affairs. As for Sultan Suleyman, he was a reserved person that honored war and books. He was rude and coarse, yet when he met his Khaseki, he understood – she became his love for the whole life. This incredible Ukrainian spelt not only the sultan’s body, but also his soul and his mind. She always was trying to find a glimmer of hope, a ray of the Sun in a strange sober world of four walls she was fated to live in forever.
Generally speaking, Roksolana appeared to be a perfect example of endurance, will-power and moral strength that symbolizes a strong Ukrainian woman that never gives up and always follows her moral ideals.