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Alison is sensible and smart, refusing to get too involved in any fights. She has a very good morality, is wise and is educated; not making uninformed or prejudice opinions. She appears to be a feminist, as she does not want her child growing up to believe that she needs a man to live, like princess stories often depict. She also scolds the use of pet names like 'princess' for her daughter, suggesting words such as 'strong young woman' She initially takes offence to her bunk mate Cindy, making her life difficult, and uses nonviolent ways at getting back at her, However this is resolved once she gets to know Cindy better. She is shown to try to cheer others up when they're down and usually keeps to herself about her personal life, despite being quite sociable. She is dedicated to her religion, wearing a headscarf and performing all five prayers of Salat daily. She doesn't completely align with the religion however, developing different opinions and getting her ears pierced eventually. Also, she can be jealous. She origianlly wanted a second wife for her husband, Hassan, but when she was left out of a family photo she stormed off.
Alison wears a hijab as a sign of modesty, due to her being Muslim. She also uses her hijab to hide a cell phone, which she uses to secretly communicate with her child, Farah. When Janae and Cindy are mourning Poussey, she shows them her bright red dreadlocks, giving them ample joke material and cheering them up.
For a list of episodes featuring Alison's flashbacks, see here.
It is heavily implied Alison was of Muslim belief before incarceration at Litchfield. Alison originally had a traditional marriage, a husband, and a young daughter named Farah. She and her husband eventually begin talking about bringing another woman into the marriage. Alison appears to be overwhelmed by parenting and work. Her husband Hassan suggests a nanny, but Alison says they would wait and see if the right individual came along. Eventually what appears to be the right person does come along, a woman named Sahar. This turns into Sahar becoming the second wife of Hassan, and the situation initially seems to work, with Sahar being very nurturing and helpful with Farah when they were bowling for her birthday, and also her understanding of Alison's policy of no princesses etc. However, Alison gradually becomes jealous and protective of her relationship with Farah and resents not having the final say in issues regarding her daughter. This is especially shown when she was passive-aggressive towards Sahar after Sahar allowed Farah to pierce her ears. She was calmed down by her husband though.
One day, she arrived at a family dinner at a restaurant with a surprise, she too had gotten her ears pierced. When she peeped inside she saw Sahar, Hassan and Farah snuggled up like a family without her, taking a selfie. This upset her and she stormed off.
The details of why she is incarcerated are currently unknown, and is very tricky to assume for Alison based on her very mature personality. It could be something to do with her job as she states sometimes she is overwhelmed by it.
Upon her arrival, Alison and Cindy quickly antagonize each other, partly due to their religious differences, but mostly due to an inability to decide who takes what space in their cell. This goes as far as Alison setting a trapped bottle of soda that exploded when opened.
This conflict is resolved in "Piece of Shit" when, during an intervention held by Taystee, (who wants to gain money for a Judy King photo and needs a cell phone) they bond when they discover they share a mutual hatred for Scientology.
Alison then joins forces with Cindy and Taystee in their attempt to get a candid shot of Judy King to sell to celebrity tabloids, by contributing her secret cell phone to the mission. She however runs out of battery.
Alison, Taystee, Watson, and Black Cindy force Caputo to record a new statement on Poussey's murder, using an iPad taken from Josh, MCC's head of PR, who they tie up in a corner. Josh helps them post the video to Twitter and they wait to be retweeted, but instead of the reaction the were looking for, they find out that their video has been made into a meme.
A decision is made to present a list of demands in exchange for the hostages' release. Alison insists that everyone get a say in creating the list, so they don't take away another woman's voice, but realizes there are some bad ideas once she begins collecting demands. She, Cindy, and Watson count and tally up the demands, to create a list out of the top ten, but Taystee is upset when they realize justice for Poussey/Arrestment of Bayley is only #9. When releasing the demands officially, Alison reads them out.
Because the white supremacists believe Judy King has a secret stash of food, they don hijabs for disguise, tie her up and the group ends up on the roof, where a media helicopter takes images of what they announce is Judy being victim to a group of terrorists. Alison comments that the real injustice is that women wearing hijabs were automatically labeled as terrorists. Afraid that this will hurt their chances of negotiation, Alison, Taystee, Cindy, and Watson help Judy prepare a statement announcing what the riot was really about. After criticism from Watson, Taystee makes the statement herself and lets Judy go free.
The first demand that was met was #10 on the list. Snacks and tampons are delivered to the prison, however once they learn that this is the only demand that the Governor's office plans on meeting, the group gathers up the goods with help from Piper, and burns them outside the prison in front of news cameras. Taystee, Piper and Alison take a break to do online quizes.
After a while, Cindy and Abdullah notice that Suzanne is in a bad state and are sympathetic for her. They dress up as guards and pretend that they are in a new prison called "Bitchfield" However, they do take advantage of Suzanne by stealing her candy, which is the same candy they paid to rent the hostages to pretend to be inmates to Suzanne. Alison leaves to perform a prayer of salat. This is until Figueroa enters the prison to negotiate for real with Taystee while Alison and the others gather around and watch, Cindy makes Ouija watch after her and the hostages for a bribe.
While sitting with Cindy, Alison tells her about Farah, her daughter. Although she does not realize it, this stirs up feelings for Cindy about her own daughter, Monica.
Suzanne begins to feel the effects of the disruption in her schedule, and in an attempt to help, Alison and Cindy barter the guards from the Dominicans with candy bars, to force them to act as her bunk mates. They put on uniforms discarded after the guards were stripped and force them to act as inmates. Later, after being taken off her meds by Lorna, Suzanne finds Humps dead and freaks out. She puts him in a wheelchair and tries to bring him to Taystee, but is stopped by Alison and Cindy who try to calm her down. When nothing works and Taystee is not available to help, Cindy gives Suzanne lithium and puts her to sleep.
Taystee turns down Figueroa's offer because it does not include justice for Poussey, but believes that she will return with a new one. Watson and Alison watch the door for her, waiting. However instead of Figueroa, riot officers come, and blast down the door. Alison removes her hijab as they enter the prison (the second time we've seen her without it), most likely because she was scared that it was going to give her more trouble wearing it rather than not, and is soon captured.
We see her again when the inmates are brought outside and lined up, waiting for buses that will take them to an unknown location. She and Watson express concern that Taystee, Cindy, and Suzanne have not yet been brought outside.
She appears briefly in the series finale, coaching Janae's running practice.
- "When you pray to Mecca five times a day, You figure that shit out."
- — Alison Abdullah
- "Yeah but this ain't only our riot. Worst thing you can do is take another woman's voice when she's finally found it. Even if she's drivin' you crazy."
- — Alison Abdullah
- "I'll go ahead and assume Bernie Madoff speaks for your entire religion."
- — Alison Abdullah to Cindy Hayes
- Farah Abdullah (child) - She is first referenced when Alison is seen texting her, but is later seen in flashbacks and mentioned by Alison to her friends.
- Sahar (husband's second wife) - In flashbacks Alison is seen discussing with her husband the possibility of him marrying a second woman. Eventually, they meet Sahar and she joins their family, though Alison later becomes envious of her relationship with Farah and unhappy that, as her mother, she does not get the final say in issues regarding her daughter.
- Hassan Abdullah (husband) - Hassan and Alison agree to get a second wife around the house but this does not alter their relationship until Farah gets her ears pierced.
- Cindy Hayes (friend) - Although at first a shaky start, the two become close friends after discovering their mutual hate for Scientology.
- Tasha Jefferson (friend) - Taystee accepts Alison into the group.
- Poussey Washington (friend) - Poussey accepts Alison into the group. Alison stands up for her against Sankey, Helen and Brandy when they speak ill of the dead.
- Brook Soso (friend) Brook accepts Alison into the group.
- Suzanne Warren (friend) - Suzanne introduces herself to Alison when everyone else seems reluctant.
- Judy King (friend, former) - Judy and Alison work together for her to undo all her racist controversy in the past.
- Janae Watson (friend) - Janae introduced Alison to the rest of the group.
- Cindy Hayes (former) - The two initially clash over religion and bunk space but eventually bond.
- Sankey, Skinhead Helen and Brandy - As members of the white pride movement at Litchfield, they are racist towards Alison due to her descent and Muslim belief.
- Baxter Bayley - Alison is seen along with Taystee, Watson and Black Cindy trying to get justice for Poussey's murder in Season 5.
- Alison hates Scientology.
- Even though Alison does not appear in Season 6, her actress, Amanda Stephen promoted the new season on her Instagram.
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Four|
|"Work That Body for Me":||"Power Suit":||"(Don't) Say Anything":||"Doctor Psycho":||"We'll Always Have Baltimore":||"Piece of Shit":||"It Sounded Nicer in My Head":|
|"Friends in Low Places":||"Turn Table Turn":||"Bunny, Skull, Bunny, Skull":||"People Persons":||"The Animals":||"Toast Can't Never Be Bread Again":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Five|
|"Riot FOMO":||"Fuck, Marry, Frieda":||"Pissters!":||"Litchfield's Got Talent":||"Sing It, White Effie":||"Flaming Hot Cheetos, Literally":||"Full Bush, Half Snickers":|
|"Tied to the Tracks":||"The Tightening":||"The Reverse Midas Touch":||"Breaking the Fiberboard Ceiling":||"Tattoo You":||"Storm-y Weather":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Six|
|"Who Knows Better Than I":||"Shitstorm Coming":||"Look Out for Number One":||"I'm the Talking Ass":||"Mischief Mischief":||"State of the Uterus":||"Changing Winds":|
|"Gordons":||"Break the String":||"Chocolate Chip Nookie":||"Well This Took a Dark Turn":||"Double Trouble":||"Be Free":|
|Orange Is the New Black: Season Seven|
|"Beginning of the End":||"Just Desserts":||"And Brown Is the New Orange":||"How to Do Life":||"Minority Deport":||"Trapped in an Elevator":||"Me as Well":|
|"Baker's Dozen":||"The Hidey Hole":||"The Thirteenth":||"God Bless America":||"The Big House":||"Here's Where We Get Off":|