Nabil Shaban

Writer, poet, actor, artist, playwright, film and theatre director and producer Nabil Shaban (1953- ) was born in Amman in Jordan. Together with the late Richard Tomlinson he co-founded the Graeae Theatre Company (pronounced 'grey-eye'), a theatre group which promotes performers with disabilities.

In the late 1970s, Nabs as he is known to his friends, was a student at Surrey University in Guildford, where he never seemed to have a shortage of the most attractive female students to wheel him around the campus. Whilst at Surrey, he was a regular contributer to the student newspaper Bare Facts.

In 1980, Nabs, together with the late Richard Tomlinson, co-founded the Graeae Theatre Company, a theatre group for people with disabilities.

Nabs has appeared on stage, on TV and in film. One of his most memorable television roles was that of the reptilian alien Sil in the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who. Nabs played Sil in two series: Vengeance on Varos (1985) and The Trial of a Time Lord (1986).

He has appeared in several films including Born of Fire (1983), City of Joy (1992) and Gaias bÝrn (1998), and has also worked as part of the Crass Collective.

Nabs has regular appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Nabs is a tireless campaigner on behalf of the disabled and disadvantaged. In December 1997, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Surrey, for his revolutionary work within the performing arts and changing public perceptions of disabled people.

A strong opponent of the illegal war in Iraq, Nabs gave back to the British Government money he had been granted to produce a film on the extermination of the disabled in Nazi Germany. This was a film project that Nabs had tried for many years to get off the ground, but he felt that he could not accept the money which he saw as 'blood money'. [see Handing back the cash]

Extermination of the Jews is well documented, and the Jews trade on history to justify their current atrocities in the Middle East, but the first to enter the gas chambers were the disabled.

In 2004 he made a TV documentary in which explored the possibility that Viking chieftan Ivar the Boneless may have had osteogenesis imperfecta, the same condition as himself.

Nabil Shaban signing a copy of his book Dreams My Father Sold Me At the age of three Nabs arrived in England for treatment for his osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle-bone disease). He was to spend the next six years in hospital and a further seven in a children's home.

The latest work by Nabs is Dreams my Father Sold Me, a collection of his poetry and graphic art.

Nabs has his own film company, Sirius Pictures.

Nabs has a strong interest in the paranormal and believes 9/11 was not as portrayed by the 'official' story.

According to Nabs, it is a family tradition that he is directly descended from Genghiz Khan.

Nabs for many years lived in Ash, on the outskirts of Guildford, he now a lives a little way outside of Edinburgh.

Graeae Theatre Company was founded by Nabil Shaban and the late Richard Tomlinson in 1980. It was a unique theatre group in that its artist and personnel all had some form of physical disablity. Its current artistic director is Jenny Sealey.

For my my good friend Nabs who I have known since his student days at Surrey University.
(c) Keith Parkins 2006 -- July 2006 rev 0