Alison Abdullah (portrayed by Amanda Stephen) is a new inmate who is processed into Litchfield at the start of season 4. A devout Muslimah, she immediately finds that her religious background makes her somewhat of a target, specifically for “Black Cindy” Hayes. When being assigned to a top bunk in Black Cindy’s cell, she rails against the supposedly “set-in-stone” rule of the top bunk not being allowed to store their things on the floor. Their beef eventually reduces to religion-based assumptions and accusations.
Abdullah and Cindy rail against each other once again once medical runs out of free tampons and pads to distribute. Cindy wants to charge Abdullah an exorbitant amount for one, but she refuses to stoop so low (especially when she has no means of making money to pay for such a “luxury”). Abdullah finds it hard to bargain with her cellmate until she overhears Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson telling Cindy and Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren how much money they can make for snapping a photo of Judy King in prison. Knowing that they have no cell phone to snap the picture with, she offers the contraband cellphone she hides in her hijab (along with her fire truck red hair, which later serves to alleviate some of the seriousness of the season-end tragedy) in exchange for either tampons or part of the proceeds–but not without assistance from Taystee.
The ice is finally broken when Abdullah and Cindy discover their mutual bewilderment with the Church of Scientology, and the two begin to learn how to get along. Their friendship further solidifies later, however, once Poussey Washington is killed by C.O. Baxter Bayley during what should have been the peaceful protest in the cafeteria.