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Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir

Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir first picked up a basketball at the age of three, and she's been playing ever since. Living in a practicing-Muslim household, as she grew older, Bilqis followed her religious beliefs. She began wearing a hijab, a traditional head covering for Muslim women, and practiced modesty on the court by covering all skin except her hands. Bilqis had a very successful high school career, scoring over 3000 points and breaking both men's and women's scoring records in Massachusetts --- a record that was formerly held by Olympic Gold Medalist and 1999 WNBA All-Star, Rebecca Lobo. Bilqis played college basketball at the University of Memphis for four years, from 2009 to 2013, and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in exercise science. Her goal was to continue playing professionally in Europe, but the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) rule prohibiting headgear larger than five inches ended that dream. Unwilling to play without her hijab, Bilqis chose faith over basketball and became an advocate. Working alongside other Muslim players, Bilqis raised her voice for the next generation and effectively forced FIBA to lift the ban. Bilqis now works to pave the way for other Muslim women in sports. Her efforts include "Muslim Girls Hoop Too" --- an online campaign to raise awareness for Muslim women in sports, with an emphasis on female basketball players. Bilqis lives in Memphis, Tennessee, with her family. Lion on the Inside is her story.
Judith Henderson is a writer, composer and producer, and is the author of Dee and Apostrofee, AAAlligator! and others. She created the theme song for the Emmy Award-winning show Arthur and has composed for many other shows as well. She lives in Montreal, Quebec.
Katherine Ahmed was born and raised in New York and converted to the Muslim faith as a teenager. She attended an arts high school in Florida and earned a BA at The New School. Before launching her career as an illustrator, Katherine was the manager of a multicultural Muslim Sunday School in New York City. In 2021, she was awarded the We Need Diverse Books illustration mentorship. Katherine was a contributing illustrator to The Reading Adventure and Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Inspiring Young Changemakers, and has had her work published in Cricket magazine. Lion on the Inside is her first picture book. Katherine lives in New Jersey with her husband and two daughters.
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