As March winds blasted the region, West County lawyer Lubabah Abdullah’s hair remained neat under a bright scarf, giving her the élan of Grace Kelly riding in a sleek convertible with Cary Grant. Abdullah, an American-born Muslim of Sudanese Arab heritage wraps her head in bright colored scarves for modesty.
Now in her mid-30s she began covering her head daily when she was 13. She was one of two girls in her St. Louis County middle school class who witnessed their Islam faith wearing plain black, grey or white headscarves. At Parkway West High School, she was teased for her scarves and her faith. Classmates knew that she a “preacher’s kid,” daughter of Imam Mohammed Nur Abdullah. He was then the religious leader at Daar-ul-Islam, the region’s largest mosque, which faces Queeny Park in Ballwin.
“We called it teasing,” she said. “Then, our idea of bullying was (physical) fights. Today, we would say I was bullied. Then, teachers looked the other way.”
After nearly years of living away from St. Louis for college, law school, study in Egypt and marriage, she returned nearly two years ago.