The Roses Cutter

“A brave guard noticed a beautiful lady hiding behind dark sunglasses,
began cutting roses from the university garden”

During the 1970s, the faculty of the Business Administration Department for Al-Mustansiriya University worked as a beehive. We were involved in organizing many activities and programs including the Curriculum update, Book Library development, establishing training center for the commercial public sector employees, and administering final and semifinal Exams.

Curriculum meeting 1977, Al-Mustansiriya University

 The Department Secretaries, in particular Ms. Hasmik Dertavityan* helped us a lot in typing, printing, and circulating the minutes of the sessions and printing proposals for developing curricula and correspondence with the Deanship and the University Presidency. I was particularly in constant contact with Ms. Hasmik, in the majority of these activities to complete the required  paperwork.  Instead of such hard-working employees getting a promotion and letters of appreciation and recognition, most of the time the opposite would happen.

Hasmik in her office 

On a glorious day of administrative efficiency in fighting corruption and preventing theft from public properties, the capacities and capabilities of the university security guards grew with unusual focus and determination to protect the university landscape, from mysterious thefts that were taking place every day in front of people eyes, without fear or shame! Yes, the university guards were on a mission to discover why there was a continuous shortage of roses from the university garden. It seemed that six stems of roses went missing every week. All the guards went on full alert to counter this clear and present danger.   

Luckily, on one bright spring morning, a brave guard noticed a beautiful lady hiding behind dark sunglasses, holding scissors, sharpened on both sides, who then began cutting roses from the university garden. The very smart guard followed her from a distance, so that she would not notice that he was following her. Finally, she reached her office, and the guard discovered her top-secret operations hideout!

Cutting the Roses as documented by the guard

 This guard, who is very keen to safeguard public property, report to the chief of the guards and told him about the incident. The incident of cutting and stealing university flowers, and transferring them from the university garden to two glass vases, one on the desk of the secretary Ms. Hasmik and the other to decorate the office of the head of the Business Administration department. The Chief of the Guards and the Guardian of the Flowers of the Iraqi nation submitted a detailed report entitled: 

RE: The Roses Cutter 

The memo was a very convincing legal and administrative counting of what the security guard observed, leaving no room for doubt with the Presidency of Al-Mustansiriya University, who in turn saw it as necessary and wise to approach the Dean of the College of Administration and Economics, who in turn did not find any convincing reason to argue with the memo, so he blessed it and sent it to the head of the Business Administration department, accompanied by a customary stamp:  “To review and to take suitable action, please.”  

The head of the department at that time was arrogant and brave in his own way and not a stereotypical bureaucrat person in dealing with these matters. So he asked the delegated secretary Ms. Hasmik to stop picking the fruits from the orchard of “The Sultan Garden”. But he did not take any administrative action against her, contradicting the recommendations of the rulers of the time. After that, the lady’s name was changed and everyone started calling her by her new nickname, “The Roses Cutter” instead of Hasmik. The memo became a joke, and was exposed to ridicule and resentment at the same time.  Hasmik revolted and gave no attention to that silly memo, and continued to exercise her Roses cutting once a week out of spiritual love and passion for flowers.  This incident among others, brought Hasmik and I closer and closer together, to reach a point of no return, and to be my beloved companion and wife. 

*Hasmik is an Armenian name means: Jasmine (Flower).

Mohammad Hussain Alnajafi
January 1st, 2024



4 Comments on “The Roses Cutter

  1. قصة قصيرة حقيقية بديعة
    تحياتي لكما اصدقائي الكرام
    ويحيا يراعك المبدع استاذ محمد النجفي

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