Portrayed by Taraneh Alidoosti
|Birthdate:||26 July, 1992 (adopted birthday)|
Brought to the school after being rescued from slavery, Sooraya's eyes have been opened to a world of possibilities. Now a college graduate and an X-Man, she is having to deal with a whole new world who is a lot more suspicious and violent to her, both as a mutant and a Muslim.
- 1 Details
- 2 Biography
- 3 Physical Characteristics
- 4 Powers
- 5 Equipment
- 6 Trivia
- 7 External Links
- 8 Plots
- 9 Meta
Character Journal: xp_dust
Real Name: Sooraya Qadir
Aliases: Dustbunny (Trainee Name)
First Appearance: July 26, 2006
Date of Birth: 26 July, 1992 (adopted birthday)
Place of Birth: Afghanistan
Citizenship: American & unoffically Afghani
Relatives: Mirah Qadir (mother)
Education: Graduated Xavier's in 2012. BA in Educational Studies and Middle-Eastern Studies from Empire State University.
Relationship Status: Single
Team Affiliation: X-Men
Sooraya grew up in a nomadic Afghani clan, her small family part of the group along with several other families of varying sizes. She was an only child, though there were a few other children near her age as she was growing up. The clan traveled using camels and horses over the Afghani plains and mountains, never staying in one place for long.
When Sooraya was eight her father was killed during a dangerous mountain crossing. His normally surefooted horse slipped while crossing a ridge and threw its rider onto the jagged rocks below. Though she was now a single woman, Sooraya's mother Mirah was still welcome in the group, and they continued to travel, finding the best places possible to graze their goats and sheep.
As Sooraya grew older, the threat of rebel groups and slave traders grew more and more intense. The clan managed to avoid the worst of the raids, though every year found them losing a few animals to the raiders. Then a particularly vicious group of traders raided their camp, taking only the young, able-bodied girls and boys and leaving the older nomads behind. One by one they sold off the children, though they kept Sooraya to tend their camp and prepare their food. Because of her nomadic lifestyle and the less-than-organized ways of the traders, Sooraya had never directly come into contact with either the Taliban or the new government and its laws. She is aware of them, of course, but since so much of her time was spent away from the cities, she had very little firsthand experience with them.
Living At The X-Mansion
Sooraya's captivity lasted a number of years, ending when she was 'bought' by Nathan Dayspring, in Afghanistan on an Elpis fact-finding trip investigating mutant child slavery. Bewildered and a little intimidated by the tall American, Sooraya found trouble followed where Nathan went as she and Rahne Sinclair were abducted by the men who had previously owned her. The girls were recovered, and Sooraya was offered the chance to go to America with them, to learn to use her strange new powers at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. Unable to find her family, Sooraya eventually agreed.
The school was a very strange place for her. Due to the language barrier and cultural differences, Sooraya was shy and diffident around most of the residents. Nathan was a main source of support and she began volunteering for Elpis, and gradually she began to assimilate, befriending her roommate Angelica Jones and finding common ground with fellow new student (and former 'purchase' of a mansion resident), Yvette Petrovic. She also formed an unlikely friendship with Tommy Jones, drawing him out in her own quiet way.
The school wasn't always the most peaceful place to be. A field trip attacked by dinosaurs and the hijacking of the bus run ruffled her calm, but during the hijack especially she was able to overcome her fears and use her powers in creative ways to help her friends. Nathan and the rest of Elpis continued their search for her family during this time, but to no avail. Then in September 2007, whilst assisting Garrison Kane investigate the killing of Canadian aid workers in Afghanistan, the completely unexpected happened, with Sooraya being reunited with her mother and aunt at the refugee camp. It was an emotional scene, with Sooraya's mother insisting her daughter return to America to take advantage of the opportunities offered to her.
East and West
Returning to the school, Sooraya continued much as she always had done - attending classes, working for Elpis, feeding those who need it. A trip to Canada and the subsequent aid she provided as part of an avalanche response opened possible new doors for her in the form of Red X. At the end of the school year, she returned home to her family, fully intending to return for the new school year in September 2008. It proved to be a considerably longer break, with Sooraya remaining with her family for a year, before returning to Xavier's in October 2009. She did have the opportunity to finally become literate in her native languages of Dari and Pashto.
Much had changed during her time away and she found it difficult to settle back into things. Following a the mission in India, Sooraya made the decision to go to Attilan to continue her schooling and powers training in a new environment and widen her personal horizons.
Search for her identity
Her time in Attilan was a time of searching for her identity. She sought to balance both her wishes to live an Islamic life style, but also to take advantage of the freedoms that the western world offered. To that purpose she started driving lessons, experimented with more western clothes and bought a burqini so she could take swimming lessons, but she also joined a women’s study group at a local mosque. There she started learning Arabic so she could read the Qur'an on her own, but also became fascinated by the Islamic feminist teachings that several of her fellow students espoused.
The location nearer to the Middle East also gave the opportunity to meet more mutants of the Islamic faith. She joined an informal, Islamic mutant youth group that called themselves the Attilan Islamic Mutant Youth Society (AIMYS), with many people who shared her liberal leanings and dedication to mutant-human integration. They had many discussions, but slowly something changed with the group. The leaders became under influence of a very charismatic man named Sayyid ibn Ariz, who slowly started to preach two things: mutant superiority and Islamic fundamentalism. Slowly the group changed, friends left and Sooraya started to feel less and less at home and finally also left the group.
But AIMYS was what ultimately forced Sooraya to leave Attilan. A young man named Achmed Akkabi took interest in her and was very forceful his wish to marry her. The rest of her ‘friends’ and Sayyid pushed her also, claiming it was her duty to bring forth the next generation. The breaking point came when she was pushed in a car one evening and brought to Sayyid’s house who preached at her for hours, hoping to break her resolve. He claimed he was her wali, her guardian, and that he had the right to bestow her hand wherever he saw fit. Sooraya retorted that she had the right to refuse an offered marriage, that he wasn’t her wali and that her wali was in the United States. When threatened with physical force Sooraya finally broke and attacked. She managed to get away and fled back to the Attilan school.
Unfortunately it wasn’t over yet. Among the group was Mahad, a short-range teleporter, and he, Sayyid and Achmed teleported to her room, trying to threaten her once more. Unfortunately not only Sooraya was attacked this time, but also her roommate Leyu Yoshida and together they chased them off, incurring some injuries in the struggle. Sooraya met with the leaders of the school and while talking they come to the conclusion it would be best for her to return to the place she hoped she would be safe: Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters.
Back at Xavier's
The first months of 2012 had a few difficult points for Sooraya. She was confronted with the fact that she could really hurt people with her powers and started to work through that. Another difficult point came when she was summoned to testify against Achmed in Attilan. Even with precautions, Sayyid's group managed to keep kidnap Leyu, blackmails Sooraya into coming with him and freed Achmed. This time Sooraya almost did end up married, but just managed to get away with the assistance of the X-Men who had accompanied her.
This didn't stop her from looking to the future though. She decided to attend Empire State University after the summer, resumed driving lessons and after the events in Attilan and some deliberation she made the decision to join the X-Men under the code name Dustbunny. The events of Genosha brought a halt to that. The events, especially accidentally taking a life while defending Madelyne Pryor from the Magistrates and the loss of Rachel Kinross-Dayspring made deep wounds. She tried to deal with it by trying to care for everyone and deepening her religious life while pushing everything away. Urgings from various friends and spending a few days in the MedLab after collapsing due hardly eating and sleeping, finally convinced Sooraya accept help, attending sessions with the Professor and leaning on her friends.
The last few months of 2012 brought many new things. Sooraya joined the new organization X-Corps, started college with the intention to double major in Educational Studies and Middle-Eastern Studies, and after she was cleared seriously started X-Men training. In October Sooraya went on her first field trip with X-Corps, while November brought her first own project: a shelter for mutant girls in Afghanistan she decided to name Malala's Rose. November also brought her first X-Men mission: she went to Hungary to deal with the Nasty Boys with a team.
2013 started of with a kind of a bang, with Sooraya participating on the mission to get Garrison and Adrienne back from Avalon, where she faced Magneto himself with a team. Afterwards life returned to normal, with Sooraya finally taking over the reigns on the Malala's Rose project and steadily giving it a concrete shape with a location and a staff starting to form. Training, college and spending time with friends were the other mainstays. One special friendship was reforging a new bond with her 'little' sister,Rachel. Another one was bonding with Laurie again, ending with the two fighting demons, when the mansion was attacked. Afterwards Sooraya helped to care for Angel, who was laid up with several fractures after her time in Limbo.
2014 and The End
The new year continues in much the same way with Sooraya interacting with some of the students a little more, like trying to show Frank a new perspective on mutant/human relations on or taking Ty under her wing when the two search collapsed houses on Avalon after the tsunami.
The rest of the year passed in relative peace, with Sooraya enjoying the quiet life more or less. January 2015, however, turned her world upside down. It started with Magneto and the Brotherhood invading Muir Island. The X-Men did their best to hold the invasion back, but were quickly overwhelmed - Sooraya herself was badly injured when one of Tabitha's bombs exploded too close to the group. Many X-Men were injured and killed in the raid - Among the dead was Yvette, much to Sooraya's and Angel's horrors - and Muir Island itself was destroyed, all its residents killed.
Sooraya was confined to the med lab until the mansion itself was attacked and destroyed. She ventured out with the rest of the injured to try and rescue the survivors, only to be caught in the aftermath of reality falling apart. She was among those rescued by Xorn and sent to the new universe when they're old one fell apart.
A New World
The new universe Xorn had made for the survivors was understandably hard for Sooraya to navigate. After discovering the less than positive attitude toward mutants, X-Corps ended up going dormant until they could figure out how to keep helping mutants in other countries. The loss of X-Corps gave Sooraya one less thing to focus on. Yet it was not only mutants, this world was far more darker. The history of her faith had also changed and grown far darker and Sooraya had a hard time with that.
In the end these troubles with her faith and severe doubts about Allah led to a crisis where she has not found a way out of. It also completed something she had been thinking about a long time: she started the process of becoming an American citizen. The dormancy of X-Corps also led her to return to college full time, while she searched for ways to become active in the Mutant Underground and charity work in Distract X to fulfill her desire to help mutants as she had done in X-Corps.
At the end of 2015 Sooraya was called in as an X-man twice, first when she went to Ithica where she helped to stop a panicking mutant girl and dealt with the police afterwards and for the second time when she accompanied Cecilia Reyes to South America to find out what had happened to her clinic there.
Early 2016 saw her being called into action as an X-men twice in a short time. First to fight the Morlocks and the Sapiens League, later she went to Askew World and fought the Slendermen to save several of the students. Afterwards she tried to help Rahne, for whom she had been acting like a kind of big sister to, to deal with the new facet of her abilities.
On a personal front her crisis of faith deepened. After much soul searching Sooraya reached the decision to remove her hijab. She still found meaning though by taking it on herself to organize an education for the children in the Mutant Underground as well as volunteering in District X. With Rogue she did find the courage to attend a meeting of the Unitarian Universalists in October. She attends regularly ever since.
A meeting with Everett Thomas started Sooraya on the path of using her powers in a new way, namely learning to form a body from sand, which could operate much as a normal body. She used this and other new tricks she had learned while practicing in when called upon to battle the Avengers.
In May 2017 Sooraya graduated from Empire State College with a BA in Educational Studies and Middle-Eastern Studies. She is currently searching what she wants to do next.
Weight: 115 lbs.
Other Features: Sooraya is a practicing Muslim and covers herself, either in traditional Afghani clothing, often a salwar kameez, or modified Western clothing, usually a long skirt and loose shirt. She used to wear a hijab in differing styles.
Sooraya's mutation is the ability to turn her body into a cloud of sand and control the direction/velocity of this cloud, as well as reforming at will. Since coming to Xavier’s for the first time, she has gained a great deal of control over the her powers. She is capable of transforming at will and controlling where she goes and at which speed.
Sooraya used her sand in a variety of ways. She can create whips of varying sharpness and shields strong enough to carry someone or to stop a bullet. As a cloud she can take away their sight. Other things are clogging up a fire weapon so it can't fire and a trick she calls the carpetless version of having the rug pulled under someone. Recently she learned to pull her everything tightly enough that she can form a body of sand with much the same abilities as a normal body.
Her sand form can be stopped by being doused with water. Dousing her with water would not hurt her, just ground her till she is dry again or resumes human shape. She can also be defeated if the air she travels through is manipulated. Her sand form is also vulnerable to extremes of heat, causing it to crystallize into glass. This could potentially kill her. If it is only splinters of glass they would not properly reform and could hurt her body on the inside or the outside on reforming since they stay this way. Like many metamorphs, she reverts back to her human form if exhausted or knocked unconscious.
Another noteworthy aspect of her mutation is that it only affects Sooraya herself – not the clothes she is wearing or anything else she is touching. She is 'naked' for the time she spends in sand-form, and must reform herself in her clothes to reappear clothed.
- Her hobbies include cooking, horse riding and reading a great variety of books.
- Sooraya speaks Dari, Pashto and English and is also competent in Arabic.
Phase 1 Comms
Player Icon Base: Taraneh Alidoosti
Formerly played by Erin until September 2008 and picked up by Jai who played her from October 2009 until she left the game in August 2010. In late November 2011 Eva brought Sooraya back into the game.