Monthly Archives: October 2014

Riverbend: Ten Years Later, Baghdad Still Burning.

middle east revised

It’s been months, well – probably years since I last time opened Riverbend’s blog. It was in the period of 2003 – 2007 that her blog opened my eyes – and the eyes of many, showing us what liberation is like to Iraqi people. Then there was the book – Baghdad Burning: Girl Blog From Iraq, a compilation of her blog entries for part of 2003 and 2004. Riverbend’s writing was intelligent, witty, warm, passionate, informative, and it always seemed to me – she was as honest as a person can be. Opening her blog today – made me miss her writing so much.

Well, there was something there for me – for all of us who have missed her for years now. She published one more post, first one since 2007. Published in April of 2013, it’s her last one. I wish to repost it here, because I find…

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Madam Arachne

So I walk into my room one night, tired out and all ready to hit the sack. I reach towards the lights, when suddenly, I see IT.

More specifically, a tiny brown spider.

Lets call her Madam Arachne.

( Yes I’m a feminist. No, I haven’t hit the loony bin. Yes, I’m naming a spider. You got a problem?)

Let me clarify beforehand that I do NOT suffer from arachnophobia. I’m just not particularly fond of them. I usually  call in the cavalry, aka my mom, to dispose of the larger, possibly poisonous ones, but the tiny ones? No problem.

So I grab a tissue and move in, all ready to capture Arachne, and I’m just about to kill it, when the damn thing scuttles off to a corner high up and out of my reach.

Curse its 2000 ommetidia and its compound eyes, and the sensitivity of Class Insecta.

Being the patient person I am, I wait for about 5 minutes for Arachne to come back down, but she stubbornly refuses to do so. So I revert to plan B. I retreat to my bed(at the opposite end of the room), all the while keeping one eye firmly on the creepy-crawly and decide to wait up until Her Highness decides to have mercy and descend.

Shouldn’t take long right? ten, maybe twenty minutes? An hour at the most?


It takes TWO HOURS before dear little Arachne condescends to come down, and  by this time my patience has REALLY worn thin. This time, she’s not going to survive.

I inch forward and just as I bring down the tissue again, Arachne FLIES. SERIOUSLY. AND LANDS A WHOLE THREE FEET AWAY( no kidding, I measured it later). ON ME.

Spiderman just got a whole lot more realistic.

Naturally, I bat her away and run away from the room, screaming at the top of my lungs for my mom.

And don’t you dare laugh. The thing can FLY.

Needless to say, I made her spray the spider to death before I step into the room again. And no, I wasn’t hallucinating. Here’s proof.

[Insert conversation between mom and me


Mom: I cant believe you have the nerve to argue with me, but you’re scared of a spider!


Mom: (after seeing Arachne): Its so tiny! You could have handled it yourself!

Mom starts to leave


Mom: All right, all right, I’m coming!!! Let me get the bug spray!

Mom enters room. Arachne exits the world.

Mom: That spider could fly!!

Me: SEE!!! I told you!!]

Moral of this story? Stop messing with the Earth. Insects are mutating. FAST.

Long live Pif-Paf. (My faithful can of bug spray. And no I’m not a hypocrite. This was a LIFE OR DEATH situation. It could have bitten me!)

Oh and thank you mom!!! You’ll always be my hero!

RIP Arachne.