Unlike other old stories that end in bizarre, untruthful or unhappy ways, this legend tells about happiness and pain, suffering and love, and ends in triumph. This is a story that has endured for generations and is still unfolding today…
N ear the Frenkluk neighborhood lived the only daughter of Ahmed-Bey Magbulija. Among all the young people of the time she was celebrated for her beauty. Everybody knew of her and everybody wanted to catch a glimpse of her… Safija was her name. Understanding the power of her beauty she used to wear blouses of the sheerest silk to show off her bosom, and waistcoats embroidered with gold to show off her hourglass figure. But this was nothing to the bright smile she showed when greeting friends and neighbors. Safija loved walking down Bascarsija’s old stone streets on her way to piano lessons in shoes decorated with pearl shell. She was like a delicate flower under the sun. But there were those who looked on her with disapproval people who could not understand the new times that were coming. There were many in Sarajevo who yearned for the past, who did not understand that their world was in the midst of a great change. But Ahmed-Bey’s daughter Safija understood this change.
“Mother, I dreamed again about the wind blowing across a field and I flew with the poppies and lilac down to the cold water spring. I almost fell… but then I saw him… a man with golden hair looking at me with big eyes. If it hadn’t been for him I would have fallen down.” “My dearest daughter, no wonder you have such dreams when your father keeps telling us that one day we’ll lead a happier life now that the Austrians are here. God willing, it will all turn out for the best … Come, get up now. Your father has brought you a new coat with a color that matches your eyes. He told me to have you wear it when you rise so that our home will be even more beautiful”. “Mama! It’s so beautiful! Can I put it on and walk down to the Miljacka? I won’t be long! Please let me go. Father would let me if he were here.” The Bey’s good wife had hardly time to reply before her daughter donned the coat and flew out of the house like the wind. Safija’s mother smiled to herself; she knew that after her walk her daughter would go to her piano lessons with the Countess.