Stories of HOPE Roses at Christmas By Mahmooda. People think Muslims don’t want to have anything to do with Christmas, but that’s certainly not my experience. We do take part in it, and this Christmas I took part in something especially inventive. We decided to help prepare roses to give as gifts across the city. The idea was initiated by the Shia community in Birmingham, with people from the Sunni community and others invited too. In total we prepared 2,400 roses. With a lovely atmosphere, volunteers attached tags with messages of peace to each rose, while others removed the thorns. Some were busy giving out the hot tea and samosas to those making the preparations! Hospital The following day, on 24th December, there were teams of people who went to the local Queen Elizabeth hospital, giving out roses to patients and staff. This had some very positive response from those who were at the receiving end – leaving some nurses very emotional! About 400 roses were given at the hospital ShoppersAnother team went into the Birmingham City Centre giving out roses to shoppers. Going to church There were also two churches where we presented roses to worshippers. St Peter’s Church, Hall Green in Birmingham and St Mary’s Church in Balsall Heath. Again, the little gesture was received with great appreciation. One receiver was so touched, he said he would dry his rose and keep it for memory’s sake.