The New York Daily News: Lask Defends Wife in Divorce Claiming Abusive Marriage
October 6, 2003
'Nutty' professor's wife - I was his slave
By SCOTT SHIFREL
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
To their students, Mohammed and Samira Wahba were successful Hofstra professors, married for 11 years.
But the Egyptian-born couple was living a double life, going home to a pigsty and constant arguments, according to court documents in Nassau County Supreme Court.
The home was full of "junk to the ceiling of our home and created an unbearable stench," according to Samira Wahba, 68, who taught reading and writing to non-native English speakers.
"He promised to take care of me," she wrote in August. "Instead, I found myself in an 11-year nightmare with a man who treated me like his slave."
Samira placed photographs in the court file of the couple's Long Beach apartment that showed it filled with old sofas, television sets, boxes and other junk she said he found on the streets.
At one point, she filed a complaint against Mohammed for throwing a television remote control at her.
In May, she said, she was forced to leave "after he nailed wood across the kitchen entrance so I could not use it, and then he demanded that I only live on my side of the bed."
But Samira is only making outrageous claims in an effort to grab property that belongs to his children from a previous marriage, Mohammed's lawyer said.
Mohammed, 71, a now-retired business management professor, is trying to clean up the mess, lawyer Leonard Ross said.
"These pictures are a year old," Ross said. "A lot of this are things he brought home when he was retiring."
They piled up, the attorney said, because Mohammed had a debilitating medical condition that made it difficult for him to move them.
And he put up the wood to divide the house after a judge ordered him to stay away from her - at her request - for throwing the remote, Ross said.
"He basically divided the apartment to [honor] the order of protection," he said.
But Samira's lawyer, Susan Chana Lask, calls him "the nutty professor" and vows to protect her client's rights.
"For everything he put my client through," Lask said, "she is going to fight for every penny [and] property she deserves."
Originally published on October 6, 2003