At women-only salon in Brooklyn,
Muslim-Americans prepare for Eid
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[June 24, 2017]
By Gabriela Bhaskar
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nevien Shehadeh, 19,
was one of many Muslim women who chose Le'Jemalik Salon and Boutique in
New York's borough of Brooklyn on Friday to prepare for the Eid al-Fitr
The beauty salon, designed by owner Huda Quhshi to cater mostly to
Muslim women, opened in January in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of
"I actually only started wearing the hijab one year ago," said Shehadeh,
an undergraduate studying math and economics at Fordham University in
"I always wanted to, but I wasn't ready. It was actually during Ramadan
last year, one week before Eid that I had this feeling to wear the
Shehadeh, a Palestinian-American, was with her two sisters, Shireen, 26,
and Nisrien, 18, and aunt, Najah, 37. They reminisced about meeting
Quhshi two years ago when the beauty entrepreneur was hired to do
make-up at a family wedding.
Quhshi, 37, said that as a Yemeni-American whose cultural norms often
barred women from the workplace, she did not think creating a space
where conservative Muslim women could receive beauty services in a
comfortable environment was possible.
Between Wednesday and Friday, Quhshi said she received 48 customers for
"Most salons aren't all women," said Shehadeh, who plans to celebrate
Eid on a Staten Island beach with her family on Sunday, marking the end
of Islam's holy month of Ramadan. "Here we feel comfortable. We're not
paranoid of someone walking in."
About 3.3 million Muslims live in the United States, according to Pew
Research Center data, many of whom will celebrate Eid, one of the two
most important festivals of the Islamic calendar.
[to top of second column]
Farah Ibrahim (C), a 25 year old Palestinian American Muslim,
watches as henna is applied on the hands of a customer ahead of the
Eid al-Fitr Islamic holiday at the Le'Jemalik Salon and Boutique in
Brooklyn, New York, U.S., June 21, 2017. Picture taken on June 21,
2017. REUTERS/Gabriela Bhaskar
"The beginning of Ramadan was really quiet. It was so slow. It was
to the point that I thought of closing for Ramadan," Quhshi said.
"Then, all of a sudden, we got so many bookings that we have had to
turn people away."
When women arrive at the salon, they are invited to sit on a
circular, ivory couch studded with jewels.
Saloon doors lead to a private space where customers post-up for
pampering in peach and white chairs.
Some get their hair cut and colored. Others have their make-up done
or hijab styled by Quhshi and her staff of six. A pedicure station
operates as a henna haven.
Shehadeh admired her haircut and blow-out in the ornate mirror.
"We're here to get pampered for the holiday," Shehadeh said. "Even
though we don't show our hair, it feels good to do it for yourself."
(Reporting by Gabriela Bhaskar in New York; Additional reporting and
writing by Melissa Fares in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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