For as long as anyone could remember, Irfam's family had run a stall at the marketplace in Aswan and done their best to stay out of any and all poltical upheavals that may have rocked the nation. However, an incident involving a high-ranking officer and his young sister, Najwa, in 1982 drew the attention of several generals onto the family. The hush money provided by the goverment was enough for the family to relocate to Port Said as well as send Irfam, then 17, to Cambridge. He would never return to Egypt.
In 1986, Irfam obtained a BS in biochemistry from Cambridge University. The next six years would see him two doctorates - one in general biochemistry from Oxford and another in Miolecular Biophysics from MIT. In 1992, he took up joint teaching/research position at Yale University, which he held until he was chosen to be his country's representive on the First Atlantis Expedition. Following the recovery of the Tria crew, he was almong those who requested to remain on Atlantis.
During the Second Exodus, he returned to his previous position at Yale - a university which also took in his fellow former Expedition member, Paul-Henri Durand. Together they were able to steal copies of the galatic maps that the SGC had commissioned the university to create using data from Prometheus and Daedalus as well several of the base materials needed to create the ATA gene therapy. He is currently wanted in the United States for espionage and grand larcony, as well as by the Egyptian goverment for treason.
Additionally, he has an on-again, off-again relationship with fellow Émigré, Adi Ahavah, which resulted in a high-risk pregnancy 2007. Their son, Issur Ahavah-Abaza, born 5 February, 2008, was the first child born on Atlantis in ten thousand years.