As a Salt elemental, Jamal is able to talk to the spirits of the dead, to stabilize other elementals and to travel to the Medium.
Jamal is severely introverted to the point of mild misanthropy; she endures rather than enjoys the company of others, although once given the opportunity to learn how to behave around certain people, she's able to relax. Around strangers, she is dry, quiet and liable to snap at people over small things; with friends, she is more prone to dark jokes, wry observations and sarcasm.
Jamal is easily embarrassed and would rather not say anything at all or be seen as an asshole than be perceived as awkward or fumbling. It works, most of the time, until she finds herself around mindreaders and is rather displeased to be.
Jamal suffers from C-PTSD, especially paranoia and chronic distrust, and has struggled on and off with substance abuse.
Prior to the events of Ghosts in Quicksilver, Jamal and her sister Johara were abandoned at a hospital. Johara was a newborn, and Jamal was two years old. From there, they were put into the foster system, and bounced around from home to home, often alternating between abusive environments and homes that simply couldn't deal with their problems. Jamal was sexually abused in more than one of these homes. At some point during her childhood, she discovered that she could see and talk to ghosts, but repressed it once she was old enough to understand what it was.
When Johara was twelve and Jamal was fifteen, Johara was hit by a car outside of their house, in full view of the house window. After her death, she came back as a ghost, marking the full maturation of Jamal's powers. The two of them became inseparable, and a few years later, Jamal left the foster system early, having saved up enough money to rent a small apartment.