Esperanza Malchi

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Esperanza Malchi (died 1600) was the kira, or economic agent, of the Valide Sultan Safiye.

Due to the secluded life demanded of harem women, they carried out their financial dealings through Jewish women (kira). As non-Muslims, Jewish women were allowed much more freedom of movement and acted as commercial agents for the harem dwellers. Esperanza Malchi was appointed as Safiye's kira, and became very wealthy. Malchi and Safiye had a close relationship; she even wrote to Queen Elizabeth I of England on her mistress' behalf, mentioning discreet exchanges of items.[1] In 1600, the imperial cavalry revolted because of the devaluation of the currency. Malchi became the target of their discontent and was killed, together with her son.

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  1. ^ Lamdan, Ruth (2007). "Jewish Women as Providers in the Generations Following the Expulsion from Spain". Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies & Gender Issues (13): 58. doi:10.1353/nsh.2007.0010.