“I worked hard to make a deeper character than Mark Watney, Jazz is more nuanced. She’s flawed. She makes bad decisions. She’s incredibly intelligent, but she’s always looking for the shortcut.” ~ Andy WeirJasmine "Jazz" Bashara, is looking for a little direction in life while working in Artemis city, the first city to be built on the Moon. She's a porter by trade, but tries to make money with by smuggling on the side – until a potentially huge score drops into her lap and lands her in the middle of a conspiracy for control of the city itself.
She’s incredibly intelligent, but makes bad decisions and very lazy that's why she is always looking for the shortcut.
Her father, Ammar Bashara, is Saudi Arabian and she grew up in Saudi Arabia until she was 6, when she moved to Artemis. She now considers herself an Artemisian rather than any Earth nationality. Her mother left them at some point during her first 6 years.
She also grew up with Mr Nakoshi as an almost uncle but the two seemed to have drifted apart to nothing more than business associates as he helps her smuggle things into the city via that KSC Freighter.
When she was 17 she was in a bad relationship with a 23 year old named Sean, he and his friends wanted to smoke pot so Jazz took them to her father's new welding shop which hadn't yet been opened, as it was one of the few fire safe places in Artemis. There was an accident and the shop burnt down. Rudy could never prove that they were in possession of contraband but he has been trying to catch her out ever since.
She moved out of her father's house and into Sean's apartment where they lived together for a few months. Their relationship was not exclusive and he would sleep with other woman although they had a deal that as long as no one did it at his apartment they could do what they liked. It was later revealed that these 'other woman' were minors and one of the girls' (age 14) family took it upon themselves to punish Sean for his paedophilia (as their is no official police force or age of consent).
She ended up on the street as she had no place to stay. It is illegal to be homeless in Artemis so she had to avoid people at night, especially Rudy, and would work as a porter to earn some money. She didn't go back to her father's house because she was ashamed and she had cost him his shop.
It was around this time that she met Dale and they became best friends. They would often hang out at Billy's bar; Hartnell's Pub. Jazz also got into a relationship with Tyler, a sweet guy who is "the only man [Jazz] has ever loved" but both her friendship and her relationship fell apart when Dale and Tyler slept together. They are still in a relationship to this day.
Jazz continued her portering and smuggling but cut herself off from Dale and Tyler and spent most of her time, working, drinking at Hartnell's or wishing she was rich until Trond Landvik approaches her with a propitiation that could help her achieve her goal of being rich.
Due to how expensive it is to live on Artemis and the fact that she's spent her life as a local working class citizen in an over priced tourist trap she seems to have a deep disdain for the upper class referring to them as 'J. Worthalot Richbastard III' and other such names.
Because of Jazz's behaviour, cynicism and alcoholism her only friends are Martin Svoboda, who she doesn't even think of as a friend until he says it, and Billy, who she only sees when she goes to his bar. Everyone else she knows; including her father, Rudy, Dale, Tyler, Trond, Irina and Mr Nakoshi; she has an antagonistic relationship with.
She is Middle Eastern and apparently very attractive. Or at least attractive enough to pass for a hooker when wearing the right clothes.
- Bashara is an Arabic name that means “good news”, “good omen”, “cause for celebration”. It is derived from the B-SH-R root which is used in many places in the Quran which is slightly ironic as Jazz is not a very devote Muslim.
- Whilst pretending to be Nuha Nejem Jazz said "Ma'alesh, ana ma'aref Englizy" (معليش أنا مااعرف إنجليزي) which translates to "It's okay, I don’t speak English".