Born in Soviet era Chechnya, a war-torn province of modern day Russia, Zubaira (originally born Halid after his Muslim father) Zakayev by the age of 3 was a refugee during the first Chechen War in 1994. He, along with his mother were granted asylum by the EU and placed in their new home in the United Kingdom. Zubaira's father (Halid Zakayev) remained in Chechnya to continue his current involvement with Chechen government in the hope of an independent state of Chechnya.
Meanwhile back in the United Kingdom, Zubaira (still known as Halid) and his mother Zarina Zakayev tried to integrate with western culture but would frequently become victims of xenophobic abuse in their new home town - just as many other refugees were at the time. With the recent Soviet-Afghan war still fresh in the minds of the world, Zubaira would often be abused for his father's name 'Halid' as well as his Soviet surname. His mother reluctantly but firmly instructed her son to no longer use Halid as his first name and instead adopted the forename of Zubaira. Still an Islamic name but less known amongst the people in their town who would mostly assume Eastern European descent as oppose to Chechen. This eased some of the name-calling but xenophobia persisted.
By the end of the Second Chechen War in 2000, Zubaira's father became a victim of what the Russians would call an insurgency offensive and succumbed to his wounds. To Zubaira and the rest of the province of Chechnya, it was a clear act of Russian extremism and was iterated amongst the Chechen people as a terrorist attack.
Zubaira grew into an intellectual man, seizing his opportunity of a life in western society. Excellent grades allowed him a scholarship into university in the United Kingdom - unheard of for a refugee. He studied Engineering and became a man of maths, physics and science. His desire for knowledge and thirst for education disillusioned him from his faith and would actively ignore religion to become fully Athiest. Though each anniversary of his father's demise, he would pray with his mother in remembrance despite Zubaira knowing little about him since he fled the Chechnya.
With Chechnya was disputably yet widely considered a Russian province after the insurgency phase of the Chechen war in 2009. The country, though unstable, became somewhat more hospitable than the previous 2 decades. Terror attacks were still active around the capital of Grozny but Zubaira wasn't phased as he actively chose to visit his home country for the first time since in 15 years. He chose to take time out from his PhD to learn more of his heritage. All of Chechnya that Zubaira knows is that what was portrayed online and in British and western media, he knew it was important to go see the place for himself.
Remarkably, he was able to find work in his country after begrudgingly joining a Russian based engineering firm, this allowed him to stay longer in Chechnya. Meanwhile the news of the civil war in Chernarus would spark tensions between Chechen nationalists and the Russian rule in Chechnya once Russia's involvement became apparent. As the region of Chernarus de-stabilised, the province of Chechnya grew anxious as more stories of Russian interference and coherence with the Chedaki grew and Chechnya itself experienced an increase in rebellious activities against the Russian rule. Terror attacks against Russia with Chechen origin became alarmingly more frequent, demanding Chechnya to be recognised as an independant state.
After some time, tensions went through peaks and troughs until the conclusion of the Chernarus Civil war. Zubaira manged to keep his head down during these unstable times, and chose to align with his own moral compass and not the ones dictated by corrupt governments. It would sometimes get him into to trouble, but he would rely on his intellect and cunning to get him out of situations diplomatically rather than violently. A trait that would later be tested greatly a Chechen Nationalist group who did not recognise him as a Chechen national, nor a practising Muslim. On his way home from work, he would often be stalked by groups of men, Zubaira actively remained in public areas to deter any actions of violence against him, and it worked.
Tired of being hunted and made a target in his birth country, Zubaira chose to visit the UK in hopes that it would ease personal tensions against him back in Grozny, Chechnya. He visited his mum for the anniversary of his father's death. Zubaira also went through a personal crisis of his own when he became embattled with his sexuality and a descendant of Islamic Chechen society. He had more of an inclination towards men but actively hid his sexuality when he returned from UK back to Chechnya. Despite successfully hiding his sexuality for some months, the group of nationalists gained word that he was back in Grozny and continued surveillance on Zubaira without making it obvious. Zubaira became confident and became more promiscuous as a result until the day when he was detained by police in his home after being accused overwhelmingly of committing homosexual acts by the Chechen nationalist group.
Whilst detained, he was beaten and had all information and travel documents seized. He was transported to various detention centres where he would be met with the same barbarity on each occasion. Being considered as a foreign homosexual who turned his back on his faith, he was asked to renounce his Chechen citizenship and be permanently exiled from Chechnya in exchange for his release and immediate deportation. Zubaira, in fear that his refusal may warrant his death sentence gratefully obliged. He was transported to Sochi, Russia, where he was due to board a flight back to the UK when news of a virus coming from Chernarus began to break out. Watching on an old TV in the cafeteria of a Sochi detention centre, worry and fear soon ensued the people of Sochi and indeed the world.
Anxious to leave the region, Zubaira couldn't wait to see his mother once more. Not for the first time in his life, Zubaira felt... homeless.
The day finally came in amongst the early angst of the virus where Zubaira boarded the flight back to the UK. During the flight however, some passengers as well as a pilot fell ill and an emergency landing had to be performed in Krasnodar International Airport so the ill could be taken off the flight. However, they were unable to find a replacement pilot until the next day at the very least. The passengers were asked to wait at the airport and wait for more information. However in the next few hours panic would ensue as people could be heard screaming in the terminal and running away from other civilians. Zubaira, fearing a terror attack, went into fight or flight and sprinted out of the nearest emergency exit of the terminal as security struggled to control the situation.
As communication around the world deteriorated, Zubaira's curious mind lead him to wonder what the cause of the outbreak is, and why is he immune to it's effects. Meanwhile, he would hope to find a new home of intellectuals of whom he could trust, confide and accept him...
- Intelligent and Cunning (educated)
- Handy (former engineer)
- Secretive (hides a lot from his past and lifestyle in fear of ridicule or worse)
- Diplomatic (avoids conflict) (Intends to make deals rather than death sentences)
- Prejudices: Generally battles with himself over his prejudices and may just treat each individual as their own, much like himself:
Russians (involvement in Chechnya and Chernarus wars)
Nationalists (driving him out of his Chechen birth country)
Western Nationals (offered asylum in the UK but not considered home)
Intellectuals i.e. Scientists etc (desires to gather as much knowledge as he can of the virus and the land of Chernarus)
Goal: To ultimately find peace in the region by working on infrastructure. To learn of the virus origins and traits. Find a new home.