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Layla Hassan was born in Cairo in 1984 and later moved to New York City with her family. She showed an affinity for engineering since being a child, preferring to take her toys apart instead of play with them. She is also very practical-minded and dislikes everything that seems to have no logical explanation.
Ever since she was very young, Layla did not do well with authority. She disliked the formal education system and some of her experiences in her young years made her question authority nearly all the time.
She had no plans to continue studying after high school, but her father pressured her into enrolling in university. He even pulled some strings to sign her up at Berkley, in the school's electrical engineering program.
At Berkley, she continued to pay little attention to her formal education and preferred her own projects instead. She was on the verge of dropping out when she met Sophia Rikkin - an Abstergo employee, touring various universities with her co-workers. They were part of the company's program for recruiting young talent.
Sophia was impressed by Layla's love of technology and offered her a job at Abstergo, promising her a chance to work her way up to the Animus labs. Layla was quick to accept and she started working in the R&D department of Abstergo Athletics.
At Abstergo, she was valued for her engineering talent, despite the fact that she was not much of a team player. Before long, she was promoted to a field operative in Abstergo's historical research department. She remained there for four years, from 2006 to 2010, gaining a lot of respect for her work. She would take on seemingly difficult jobs and complete them flawlessly, as long as she was given the freedom to do them her own way.
Around that time, her relationship with Sophia started to become somewhat tense. Layla suspected that her former mentor is trying to steal her ideas and pressed once more about joining the Animus team, just to be told that it will happen someday.
When the revolution broke out in Egypt, she took a leave of absence and returned to her homeland. There, she aided the revolutionary youth by teaching them how to use technology to further advance their goals. She stayed until Abdel Fattah-el-sisi became the country's president, then returned to working for Abstergo.
Upon her return, she was given a portable Animus unit, but her contact with Sophia was almost non-existent. This meant that she had lost her chance to join the actual Animus labs, but instead of giving up, Layla decided to show Abstergo what an asset she could be for the project.
Layla began modifying her portable Animus, so it can project not only the memories of her ancestors, but of every person that has ever lived on the planet. She also modified her unit in such a way that it could read DNA samples that were too damaged for the regular Animus. She hoped that this project would show Abstergo that her place is in the lab, with the full-sized Animus.
The destruction of the Animus facility in Madrid ended any remaining contact she had with Sophia, but Layla was certain that the team that worked there will soon get back to their project and will look to expand.
When her personal Animus project was nearly complete, she was sent on an assignment in Egypt. Her task was to recover an ancient isu relic from a tomb, but what she found instead was the mummy of a man who appeared to have connections with some of the earliest assassins. Despite knowing that this is a severe violation of protocol, Layla firmly believed that it is also the best chance to test her own modifications to the portable Animus.